Page 1

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On May 6,2000, the ATM in Lenox Mall automatically snapped this photograph of Georgia Tech student Joe Morse. His family has not seen or heard from him since.

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When you're a distinguished alum like George R Burdell, you're bound to get special consideration when you fly. But on AirTran Airways, you don't have to be famous to be treated like someone special. Everyone gets great low fares without requiring a Saturday night stay or a roundtrip purchase. Everyone gets a seat assignment and the chance to upgrade to an affordable, roomy Business Class. And everyone can reap the benefits of an extremely generous frequent flier program, A-Plus Rewards. It's all part of how we're making affordable air travel easy to like for everyone. Not just George R Burdell. Book online at (America Online Keyword: AirTran). Or call your travel agent or 1-800-AIR-TRAN. In Atlanta, call 770-994-8258.

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Sweating the Small Stuff ...Big Time A nano is microscopic. The head of a pin measures one million nanometers. Georgia Tech researchers are at the forefront of new discoveries in this amazing field. The impact nanotechnology will have on our lives is huge.

Poet in the Dugout Tech's visiting poet Thomas Lux describes the rhyme and rhythm of the Yellow Jackets' baseball season and, to his delight, finds ithat "it's fun to watch these kids play." By Thomas Lux

By John Toon

e Disappearance of Joe Morse At the end of the spring 2000 sem freshman Joe Morse withdrew mo an ATM and vanished. Neither his family nor campus friends have seen or heard ymn him since. What happened to him remains a mystery. By Maria M. Lameiras

)reamcatcher Alumnus Richard Kessler develops hotels on a grand scale. By Kimberly Link-Wills Page 41

Alumni M a g a z i n e

Joseph P. Irwin, IM 80, Publisher

John C. Dunn, Editor Neil B. McGahee Associate Editor Maria M. Lameiras, Assistant Editor Kimberly Link-Wills, Assistant Editor Everett Hullum Design Jeff Colburn, Advertising

Page 50

Departments 5 Feedback 10 Tech Notes Rarefied Air Chancellor Resigns New Assignments Steer Clear Fulbright Fellow Academic Astronaut Tops in the Lineup

Editorial Advisory Board J. William Goodhew 111, IM 61, Chairman Vice Pres id en t/Com m i inicatio 11 s Georgia Tech Alumni Association Board of Trustees Vice President, Intelligent Systems Corp, Gary Bottoms, IM 75 Alumni Association Board of Trustees Principal Gary Bottoms & Co, Robert T. "Bob" Harty Executive Director Institute Communications & Public Affairs David J. McGill Director Emeritus, Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning Georgia Tech John Toon Manager Georgia Tech Research News and Publications Office

59 Pacesetters Bryan Nesbitt: Hottest Designer Harold Reheis: Practical Solutions Bob Childs: Buckling Down jack Guynn: Policy-Maker Alan Nager: Unique Culture

68 Profile Gary May; SURE Success

72 Photo Finish Going Up

Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine (ISSN: 1061-9747) is published quarterly (Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter) for Roll Call contributors by the Georgia Tech Alumni Association, Alumni/ Faculty House, 225 North Avenue NW, Atlanta, GA 30332-0175. Georgia Tech Alumni Association : cales $10 from a contribution toward a year's subscription to its magazine. Periodical postage paid at Atlanta,GA., and additional mailing offices. Š 2001 Georgia Tech Alumni Association POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, Alumni/Faculty House, 225 North Avenue NW, Atlanta, GA 30332-0175. Editorial: (404) 894-0750/0761. Fax: (404) 894-5113, E-mail:, Advertising: (404) 894-9279.

Cover: The Lenox Mall ATM in Atlanta automatically snapped photographs of Joe Morse as he withdrew $120 on the day he was to return home to Ohio, where his mother was awaiting his arrival at the airport. It is the last known location of the Georgia Tech student. Photo courtesy FBI • GEORGIA TECH


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No Right to Judge I was appalled by the letter from retired Col. Walter Grimes in the Spring 2001 issue of the ALUMNI MAGAZINE.

Col, Grimes was "disgusted" because Mark Gartley's story was included in the article about Tech's Vietnam-era POWs (Winter 2001, ALUMNI MAGAZINE). He believes you

should not have included Mr. Gartley's story because he accepted release from a POW camp before all the other POWs were released — in violation of the agreement among the POWs. He called Mr. Gartley's conduct "deplorable" and says that he is "ashamed that Gartley is a Tech man." The only people with a right to judge Mr. Gartley's conduct are the POWs who served with him in Vietnam, The rest of us can't begin to understand what Mr. Gartley and the other POWs had to endure. None of us — not even other Vietnam-era veterans — can possibly comprehend the hardship and suffering of those camps. We can never know what terrors and fears caused him to leave when release was offered. It is up to Mr. Gartley's fellow POWs and, ultimately, Mr. Gartley, to criticize or condone his conduct. Mr. Gartley served his country in combat at a time when many men dodged the draft or found excuses to serve stateside. He served with honor. Thank you for sharing his story. And thanks to Mr. Gartley for sharing it,

even though he is obviously deeply conflicted about it. Ann Dunkin, IE 86, MS IE 88 Vancouver, Wash.

Memorable Magazines Congratulations on your award-winning magazine, You keep those of us who live out of town informed about what's going on at Tech, as well as provide interesting articles about alumni — young and old. The letters continue to bring many memories of my years at Tech. I was a co-op student in mechanical engineering, 1947 to 1952. The article about Tech's POWs in the winter issue was most interesting, Richard "Dick" Dutton, IE 51, was in some of my classes. Had it not been for your article, I would not have known that he went on to become a POW and truly an American hero. The letter from Robert Jinright, Arch 53, about "The Dog that Passed Physics," Spring 1998, was of particular interest. I had the misfortune to room one quarter with Jinright, J. R. "Randy" Seckman, IE 52, and the dog, Cappy Dot Dal, in Glenn Dormitory. Jinright omitted Cappy's flatulence problem in his letter, but I can attest that he had one. We often had to open the windows and evacuate the room on a moment's notice. It also occurred at the Kappa Alpha house — where Cappy often stayed — during meals and parties. Keep up the good work. I occasionally re-read the 75th Anniversary Edition (Spring 1998). It is a treasure I will

Lessons for Life

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' eorgia Tech is a place f where lessons are learned. Many are scholastic, as you'd expect, but some are not — they're life lessons. You all know what I mean. Life lessons become quite obvious after the fact: • It takes perseverance to succeed in a complex and confusing environment. • Be patient. Nothing lasts forever. • Have courage when the odds seem stacked against you. • Teamwork pays off. With many business sectors in a contraction mode, times are pretty tough for some of our alumni. It's important now, more than ever, to show that the connection to Tech spans the generations. Extending the helping hand to other alumni can pay incredible dividends for you professionally and personally. If you have the opportunity to help one of your fellow alumni, do so. It doesn't have to be a job offer — it can be as simple as making an introductory phone call or providing a few names for networking purposes. It's a low-risk, high-return effort, one that truly makes Georgia Tech one of the great schools in this country. And it's what makes Tech alumni extraordinary. I've previously mentioned JobNet, and you've seen our ads. JobNet is a Web-based searchable database of jobs and resumes exclusively for Tech alumni. In the past year, almost 300 companies have used JobNet to find Tech alumni. Currently more than 50 have nearly 500 jobs posted. We have more than 6,000 registered alumni users and more than 2,000 good solid Tech alumni resumes on the board. It's worth a look whether you're recruiting or job hunting. If you'd like to be a part of our networking efforts or if you'd like more information, contact Jennifer Gillilan here at the Alumni Association at 404-894-7283. Or visit the Web site at

Joseph P, Irwin Executive Director Georgia lech Alumni Association

Continued on page 6

Summer 2001 • GEORGIA TECH


Feed Back keep forever. Thomas 0. "Tom" Patton, ME 52 Johnson City, Tenn. Canine Collaborators We have received copies of the GEORGIA TECH ALUMNI MAGAZINE (Winter

2001). The article "Best Friends ... and Much More" is truly a wonderful and wellwritten piece. We want to reproduce it and use it as an educational handout for other Lions clubs. The Lions Project for Canine Companions for Independence was founded in 1983 as a nonprofit organization to coordinate support efforts of Lions, Lioness and Leo clubs across the United States. Through hard work, dedication and financial support, the Lions' program has been able to help the Canine Companions for Independence give the gift of independence to more individuals with disabilities than ever before. I am providing a copy of the article to Canine Companions for Independence. Elizabeth Bowman LPCCI Administrator Santa Rosa, Calif.

Ice Hockey Had Cold Start I noticed that the theme of the Spring 2001 ALUMNI MAGAZINE had an ice hockey

metaphor. As the principal founder and first president of the Georgia Tech Ice Hockey Club from 1973-75, you'll have to pardon me if I admit to having a great deal of pride in the success of the hockey club. We worked very hard during the summer and early fall of 1973 to


GEORGIA TECH â&#x20AC;˘ Summer 2001

establish the club, and it almost didn't get off the ground because of a controversy over its funding, In 1973, the Athletic Association was not interested in sponsoring ice hockey as a sport, the Student Athletic Council had virtually no money and the student council balked at making a $4,000 loan to a student organization because of the precedent it would set. The controversy was settled when we withdrew the loan request and compromised on a $2,500 grant to fund club operations. If I had to point to a moment that firmly established the ice hockey club, that was it. Obviously, I had a lot of help getting the hockey club started. Larry Drill, Steve George (our first goalie), Steve Josey and, of course, our faculty adviser Joe Smrekar (who, sadly, is no longer with us), deserve much of the credit as well. We also benefited from some good press in the Technique, particularly from assistant sports editor Steven Ashby. But the real credit goes to all the members of the initial team and those who followed who put up with 1 to 3 a.m. practices, long Friday night car trips to play games in Knoxville and Charlotte, and paying most of their own expenses to participate in a sport that was foreign to the South and Georgia Tech. I don't think any of us ever dreamed that we were

Burdell Stirs Controversy "Precious few controversies arise in the gardening world," begins a piece in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution's "Weekend Gardener" column by Walter Reeves, but George P. Burdell was right in the middle of this one. "What qualifies as a native plant?" wondered a reader whose subdivision covenant requires plants native to the southeastern United States. Reeves scoffed in his column that he believes such covenants are "ridiculous because they eliminate many non-native plants we've come to rely on." A riled Burdell had his own opinion: "No one is forced to live in a community that strives to maintain the integrity of the natural plant communities. As for me, I would pay a premium for the privilege. I have hiked many miles in the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains and other natural areas. I cannot conceive of a better landscape plan than that which nature provides." Still, a defensive Reeves maintained, "I don't think any covenant in an Atlanta suburb goes so far as to forbid fescue, Bermuda, zoysia or centipede, which are not native. Yet that would be the effect if 'plants native to the southeastern United States' is interpreted literally."

starting something that would eventually achieve the kind of success and recognition the club enjoys today. I'm truly grateful to the Alumni Association for making the effort to keep in touch with us through the establishment of an ice hockey alumni group. Michael J, (Mike) Murray, ChE76 Houston Tech's hockey team was ranked No. 3 last season, and Tech has been

awarded the national Division III American College Hockey Association tournaments for women's and men's clubs in March 2002. Tech has dropped out of the Division III College Hockey South Conference and will play as an independent in 2001-02, a move that allows the Jackets to compete against more Division II schools in anticipation of a move to Division II in 2002-03.

We Want to Hear From You Your Alumni magazine welcomes II letters. Address all correspondence to Georgia Tech Alumni Publications, 190 North Ave.,NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, Fax (404) 894-5113. E-mail: (please include full name, city and telephone number).

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Working as a team and setting goals can achieve great things. With the MCI WorldCom Alumni Savers Program, you can join a team that will achieve a benefit for not only you, but also for one of the greatest influences in your life â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Georgia Tech. Your business can enjoy significant savings on voice, data, and Internet services, while a portion of your bill is donated to the Georgia Tech Alumni Association. This is a team goal where everyone wins. Call now! The names and logos identifying MCI WorldCom's products and services are proprietary marks of MCI W O R L D C O M , Inc. or its subsidiaries.

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Rarefied Air Engineering College, programs rank high in survey


he College of Engineering placed fifth in the annual U.S. News & World Report graduate school rankings and seven of the 11 engineering programs are ranked in the top 10. Tech's School of Industrial and Systems Engineering ranked No. 1 for the 11th year in a row. Among the highly competitive business schools, the DuPree College of Management ranked 35th overall. The Ivan Allen College of humanities was fourth in Information and Technology Management, and the College of Sciences was No. 10 in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. "Our consistent performance in these rankings is notable and very satisfying," President Wayne

Clough says. "Every year, the rankings change and schools move up or down, in some cases drastically. That hasn't been the case with our programs. We've consistently scored high in the areas in which we offer programs, and it speaks very highly of our students, faculty and staff. "We've scored well in our traditional strength of engineering, but we also show considerable promise in emerging fields such as biotechnology and information management, along with a top 10 ranking in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. That's an indication of the increasingly well-rounded Institute that we are becoming." Tech's College of Engineering remained a member of the elite top five, be-

Tech's biomedical engineering ranks sixth in the nation.

hind Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of California-Berkeley and University of Michigan. "This places four of our schools in the No. 6 spot — civil engineering, biomedical engineering, electrical and computer engineering and mechanical engineering," says former engineering dean Jean-Lou Chameau, who became provost and vice president for academic affairs on June 1.

"I think this is the important news. These schools, plus aerospace and industrial and systems engineering, are in rarefied air." Clough says, "These rankings are one more indication that we're doing very well in some of the most competitive educational programs in a variety of areas. Rankings are not the sole or even primary measurement of quality, but being highly ranked by both peers and industry is better than the alternative." This year, U.S. News & World Report ranked graduate programs in business, engineering and health disciplines, and PhD programs in economics, English, history, political science, psychology, sociology and public affairs. Additional information may be found at the U.S. /Vews Web site,

U.S. News and World Report Rankings GRADUATE COLLEGE/PROGRAM

Chancellor Resigns Portch stepping down from Board of Regents chair


tephen Portch, chancellor of the Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia since 1994, is stepping down. Portch will remain in the post until a successor is named. He plans to serve as a consultant to the Board of Regents over the next year and spend more time on his Newnan, Ga., farm. Portch led the University System through the conversion from quarters to semes-


G E O R G I A T E C H • Summer 2001

ters. He also is credited with increasing admissions standards and retention rates within the 34 institutions in the University System. Portch earned praise for increasing the salaries of professors and administrators, launching the online library system GALILEO, appointing Georgia Tech President Wayne Clough and securing funding for construction projects at institutions statewide.

College of Engineering • Industrial and Systems Engineering • Aerospace Engineering • Biomedical Engineering • Civil Engineering • Electrical Engineering • Mechanical Engineering • Environmental Engineering • Materials Engineering • Nuclear Engineering • Computer Engineering • Chemical Engineering Ivan Allen College • Information and Technology Management College of Sciences • Industrial/Organizational Psychology DuPree College of Management

5 1 3 6 6 6 6 9 11 11 12 14 4 10 35


New Assignments Chameau begins provost role; Davidson named interim dean


fter serving more than three years as College of Engineering dean, Jean-Lou Chameau began his new duties as provost and vice president for academic affairs on June 1. J. Narl Davidson was named to a repeat performance as interim engineering dean. A national search for a new College of Engineering dean will be launched this summer. A successor is not expected to be named until at least early next year. A Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, Chameau previously served as vice provost for research and dean of graduate studies. He came to Tech in 1991 as director of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. As dean of the largest college of engineering in the United States, Chameau led educational and research programs in nine engineering disciplines, all of which have earned national recognition. He is credited with expansion of Georgia Tech Lorraine in Metz, France, and the establishment of the Georgia Tech Regional Engineering Program in Savannah and the Logistics Institute in Singapore. Chameau looks forward to his duties as provost. "We have accomplished so much in recent years but those accomplishments pale in relation to what we can achieve," he says."This university has so much potential for national and international leadership and I look forward to helping shape that potential in the years to come."

North Avenue

7 5 Years Ago Georgia Tech was designated an accredited school of architecture by the American Institute of Architects in 1926, a year after being the first school in the Southeast elected to the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. Tech also won the Southern Intercollegiate architectural competition for the fourth straight year.

5 0 Years Ago

New provost Jean-Lou Chameau (above) and interim dean J. Narl Davidson (left).

Michael Thomas has stepped down as provost to explore research and international partnership opportunities. Davidson previously served as interim dean in 1997 until Chameau was tapped for the position. Davidson came to Tech in 1973 as an assistant professor in the School of Nuclear Engineering. He transferred to the School of Mechanical Engineering in 1983. Davidson was named associate dean of the College of Engineering in 1990. He spearheaded the decommissioning of the Georgia Tech Research Reactor, which was used for more than 30 years to train engineers to operate commercial nuclear power plants and as a laboratory in the fields of biology, materials and medicine. Davidson received a bachelor's degree in engineering physics from Cornell University and his master's degree and PhD in nuclear engineering from the University of Michigan.

Ground was broken for construction of a five-story library named in honor of S. Price Gilbert, a Georgia jurist, legislator and patron of education. The library was being built to house 125,000 scientific and technical books, 2,500 periodicals and include cubicles for graduate students, a film library and a music room. By coincidence, Price Gilbert Jr., ME 21, a retired Coca-Cola executive, was beginning a fiscal-year term as president of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association.

2 5 YearTAgo Alumnus Al Lewis, CE 49, was in charge of rounding up a remuda of horses for Georgia's participation in a Bicentennial Wagon Train Pilgrimage, a promotional event that brought 60 covered wagons from across the United States to Valley Forge, Pa., on July 4, 1976. Lewis provided the horsepower for the Georgia delegation, which departed from Stone Mountain on April 10, 1976.

Summer 2001 â&#x20AC;˘ G E O R G I A T E C H



Steer Clear

Fulbright Fellow

Traffic study getting on the road

Henry Hipps receives coveted scholarship


lumnus Henry Hipps has been awarded a 2001-02 Fulbright graduate fellowship and will travel to South America in the fall to work on technology and business development in emerging economies. Hipps, MS ChE 98, is a consultant for IBM Global Services' enterprise applications services division and his specialty is international trade. During his Fulbright study, Hipps will partner with government agencies in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay on initiatives to help the transfer of technology to small businesses. Hipps will focus on using the Internet to stimulate economic growth and international trade among small businesses in the three countries, which are members of the MERCOSUR trade block. Hipps has served on the Georgia Tech Alumni Association Minority Affairs Committee executive board and was president of the Black Graduate Student Association at Tech. He received his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1994. Hipps says his chemical engineering background gives him a unique advantage in business applications. "Chemical engineering has a systems approach to problem solving and, from a systems standpoint, is similar to industrial engineering. However, where chemical engineering differs is in how it looks both at the micro and macro aspects of a problem," Hipps says. "You get both sides, from the highly detailed molecular level all the way up to the business level." After completing his Fulbright fellowship, Hipps plans to enter a joint degree program for an MBA and master's in international studies, as well as continue to advise start-up firms about opportunities for trade with MERCOSUR countries. Since Congress created the Fulbright Program in 1946, about 84,000 U.S. students and 146,000 students from other countries have been chosen for Fulbright experiences. Georgia Tech's last Fulbright winner was Jeffrey Katzman, MSci 93, who studied economics in Germany during the 1993 academic year.

eorgia Tech is helping transportation officials wise up about traffic congestion. Tech researchers have developed an activity-based travel survey that will involve participants from 8,000 households as a component of SMARTRAQ â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Strategies for Metropolitan Atlanta's Regional Transportation and Air Quality. The Atlanta Regional Commission will use the survey results as it creates a new regional transportation plan. gtgiiM&i f While the SMARTRAQ surveys are being conducted, researchers are implementing an outreach and education program targeted at policy-makers, developers and Atlanta-area residents in hopes i of reducing vehicle miles traveled and, in turn, reducing pollution.

Academic Astronaut


ichael J. Massimino, an adjunct assistant professor in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering who began training as a NASA astronaut in 1996, is a member of the Space Shuttle Columbia crew scheduled to launch Nov. 19. A mission specialist, Massimino will join Commander Scott Altman and the rest of the crew in upgrading the service of the Hubble Space Telescope.


GEORGIA TECH Summer 200!

The crew will lift off and ÂŤ, 11 land at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. ^^k J Massimino came to Georgia Tech in 1995 to teach human-machine systems engineering classes and conduct research on human-machine interfaces for space and aircraft systems in the Center for Human-Machine Systems Research.


Tech outfielder Jason Basil was drafted by Oakland.


ight juniors and seniors on Georgia Tech's baseball team were selected in the first 20 rounds on day one of the 2001 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Heading the list was

third baseman Mark Teixeira of Severna Park, Md., who was the fifth overall selection, picked by the Texas Rangers. The junior is the fifth first-round draft pick in Tech baseball history, joining Kevin Brown

(1986, seventh overall pick), Ty Griffin (1988, fourth), Nomar Garciaparra (1994, 12th) and Jason Varitek (1994,14th). Junior second baseman Richard Lewis of Marietta, Ga., was the 40th overall selection after being selected as a supplemental first round pick by the Atlanta Braves. Junior right-handed pitcher Steve Kelly of Fairfield, Ohio, was selected by his hometown Cincinnati Reds in the fourth round, while fellow righty hurler Rhett Parrott of Dalton, Ga., was taken in the ninth

round by St. Louis. Catcher Bryan Prince of Fort Oglethorpe, who returned to Tech for his senior season after not being drafted as a junior, was selected in the 10th round by the Cincinnati Reds. Junior right-hander Kevin Cameron of Joliet, III, was the first pick in the 13th round by the Minnesota Twins and Brian Sager of Branford, Conn., also a junior right-hander, went in the 14th round to the Chicago White Sox. Senior outfielder/catcher Jason Basil of West Chester, Ohio, was Tech's final selection of the day when he was taken by the Oakland Athletics in the 15th round, GT

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Summer 2001 • G E O R G I A T E C H


Two great institutions helping people be ready for life. Like Georgia Tech, helping students and customers realize their dreams is what SunTrust is all about. From day-to-day things like checking as well as long-term needs like mortgages and retirement planning. Visit a SunTrust branch or call toll-free 1-877-786-7777.

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Saturday. August 11,2001 oom-UAhi Georgia Tech student Athletic center

Play in a 3 on 3 game against NBA Tech alumnus John Salley and former Georgia Tech Players. $25.00 per ticket. Raffle Winners will be notified one week prior to August Clinic.

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This is a FREE instructional basketball clinic for the first 100 girls & boys ages 5-15 who sign up. This event will be hosted by John Salley, 4-time World Champion and current host of late night talk show "BET Live".

Meet John Salley at the Salley Foundation's Annual Reception/Silent Auction Coaches Corner Georgia Tech Coliseum Saturday, August 11,2001 • 6 PM - 9 PM • $20 Donation

Child's Name (Last) Parent/Legal Guardian Home Phone Child's Age Mailing Address Child(ren) for Clinic


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Mail form to: The Salley Foundation, 5230 Winding Glen Drive, Lithonia, Georgia 30038 For more information on The Salley Foundation, email:

IN THE 1997 MOTION PICTURE "MEN IN BLACK," extraterrestrial forces threaten to destroy Earth unless a stolen galaxy is quickly returned. The turning point of the story comes when the good guys realize that galaxies can be small enough to fit in a pocket. Appreciating nanoscience and nanotechnology requires a similar recalibration of size scales. Scientists and engineers in this burgeoning field work in a world visible only under powerful microscopes. But don't let size deceive. Researchers see huge advances ahead in cancer detection and therapy, dramatic size and cost reductions for electronics, improvements in sensors, better catalysts to clean the environment, amazing new materials for defense applications, stronger metals — and a host of other benefits. Just how small is nanoscale? A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. Five hydrogen atoms side by side span about one nanometer. The cells of our body stretch into the thousands of nanometers. At 100,000 nanometers, that old standby for size comparisons — the width of a human hair — seems positively gigantic. The head of a pin measures a million nanometers. But smallness alone does not account for all the interest in the nanoscale. Because they share size scales with light waves and interact with electrons that can no longer behave like particles, nanoscale structures push the envelope of physics, moving into the strange world of quantum mechanics. That's both good and bad, offering challenges and opportunities.

Sweating the Small Stuff By John Toon Photography by Gary Meek


G E O R G I A T E C H • Summer 2001

BUILDING A NANOMACHINE or nanostructure involves more than scaling everything down. At nanometer sizes, inertia critical to old-fashioned motors no longer has meaning. Friction changes, and gravity hardly matters. Nanoscale versions of materials differ significantly from those same materials at "bulk" sizes. Beyond unique properties, the nanoworld offers the possibility of creating materials that have never existed before, building anew from the atom up. Using breakthrough tools like the scanning-probe microscope, researchers can already move atoms around like checkers on a board. "This is the next technology revolution," says Zhong L. Wang, director of Tech's Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and a professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering. "Nanotechnology will allow us to achieve revolutionary advances in many areas. It's a very broad science, and will impact each and everyone's life."

Tech's Nanoworld


t Georgia Tech, nearly 50 faculty members pursue research projects classed as nanoscience and nanotechnology, and their numbers are growing. The field is inherently interdisciplinary, drawing on expertise in physics, chemistry, electronics, materials science, computer science, biology, bioengineering, mechanical engineering and chemical engineering. To facilitate collaboration and share costly equipment, Georgia Tech formed the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology last fall.


G E O R G I A T E C H • Summer 2001

Wang counts five advances that make the nanorevolution possible: • Development of the scanning and transmission electron microscopes and scanning, tunneling and atomic-force microscopes, revolutionary technologies allowing researchers to see the nanoworld, even manipulate it. • Nanoscale devices as the critical challenge to the future road map for microelectronics. • Development of novel structures, such as fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, oxide nanobelts and nanowires, and semiconductor nanocrystals — breakthrough structures that helped scientists realize the potential of the nanoworld. s Appreciation for the effects of quantum mechanics and structures such as quantum dots to take advantage of them. • Powerful computers and software-powering simulations to allow scientists to understand the phenomena at nanoscales. Nanoscience and nanotechnology have received plenty of hype, so talk of advances mixes with words of caution. Ashok Saxena, chair of the School of Materials Science and Engineering, notes that every important advance must overcome unforeseen difficulties moving from the lab to real-world application. He compares today's nanoscience and nanotechnology to the burst of enthusiasm greeting advances in superconductivity during the mid-1980s. "It was supposed to be revolutionary and change a lot of things," he says. "We are only now beginning to see devices that use superconducting materials. Only time will tell how significant the contributions made by nanoscience and nanotechnology will be." Others suggest the real implications may be beyond our current grasp. "The most important results might not even be the things we are thinking about today," says Mostafa El-Sayed, Regents Professor of chemistry and director of the Laser Dynamics Laboratory. "I don't think it will be as great as some people predict, but there will certainly be interesting developments coming out of it." Success in the nanoworld demands a different way of thinking — perhaps not unlike the good guys in "Men in Black" who had to accept the idea of a pocket-size galaxy to save the Earth. "We are still thinking with the mind of the huge world," El-Sayed says. "We may find that some of what we think are problems, in that small world are really very useful. We just don't know where it will lead. There is a lot of science yet to be done before the engineers can work with it."

Blazing a Nanoscale Trail SILICON AND ITS OXIDE — silica — find widespread industrial applications and form the backbone of modern microelectronics. Research is opening potential silicon uses in nanocatalysis, nanosensors and nanoelectronics — while blazing a nanoscale trail for materials such as tin oxide and gallium nitride. Using a simple and flexible high-temperature synthesis technique, the Georgia Tech researchers produce nanowires, nanotubes, nanospheres, "nanodiskettes" and nanofiber arrays from silicon, silica, silicon carbide and tin oxide. "We have developed a simple and generalized technique to make these nanostructures," says Jim Gole, a professor in the School of Physics. "We can make virtually any structure we want by putting the right materials together in the right spatial configuration under the right conditions."

Testing the Might of Mite NANOSCIENCE PROVIDES a promising collection of materials for a new generation of devices and structures. But before these new materials go to work, their prop^ ^ ^ erties must be thoroughly understood and documented. Georgia Tech researchers Walter de Heer and Zhong L. Wang use a straightforward technique — mechanical resonance induced by an oscillating electrical Carbon nanotubes offer intrivoltage — to meaguing potential applications, sure the bending but to use them, scientists strength of carbon must gain an understanding nanotubes proof their material properties. duced by two difMechanical resonance offers one way to measure the ferent processes. The work, which tubes' bending strength.

Summer 2001 • GEORGIA TECH


Magnetic nanoparticles attached to chemotherapy drugs could increase therapeutic dosages while reducing side effects. Researchers John Zhang and Adam Rondinone prepare a sample of magnetic nanoparticles for analysis by X-ray diffraction. Right: Zhang holds a sample of the nanoparticles being developed.




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RGIA T E C H • Summer 2(101


also correlates strength measurements to observable defects, will help engineers select the right type of nanotube for new applications as diverse as ultra-light composites and low-power field emission displays. "We are able to make a quantitative comparison, with a real number to describe how the bending modulus differs," says Wang, director of the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, and a professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering. "This work gives theoretical scientists data to model individual nanotubes." Wang and de Heer — professor in the School of Physics — compare nanotubes produced by hightemperature carbon arc discharge to structures grown in a catalyst-assisted pyrolysis process. In the latter, they found significant strength differences caused by point and volume defects. Wang believes catalytically grown nanotubes offer advantages for lightweight composites, where defects could help interlock tubes to keep them from pulling out of the matrix. However, those same defects could cause problems in electronic applications, where nanotubes produced by carbon arcs may be superior.

Attacking Cancer Cells CHEMOTHERAPY IS ONE of the most potent weapons in the battle against cancer. But because the powerful drugs are carried by the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body, they harm healthy cells while attacking the malignant ones. Research on nanometer-scale particles with magnetic properties may allow better targeting of chemotherapy, potentially boosting its impact on cancer while reducing effects on healthy cells. Rina Tannenbaum and John Zhang are pursuing different aspects of a promising new technique that would use magnetic nanoparticles to deliver chemotherapy drugs directly to cancer cells. After injection into the body, the particles would be guided to tumor sites by external magnetic fields. Once there, the particles — some as small as 2.5 nanometers — would bind to the cancer cells and deliver their drug payloads. "This technique would put the specific drug you need directly into the cells you want to kill, affecting a minimal number of healthy cells," says Tannenbaum, associate professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering. "This could make the side effects of chemotherapy much less pronounced and allow you to zap the cancer cells

with a higher drug concentration than you could otherwise. Both the localization and concentration could be very helpful in treating cancer." Zhang, associate professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has learned to precisely control the size and magnetic properties of his nanoparticles through variations in chemistry and process conditions. His goal is a "recipe book" that researchers could use to produce magnetic nanoparticles with the specific properties needed for a variety of different applications: drug delivery, enhancement agents for diagnostic tests and replacement of radioactive tracers. "We are understanding the fundamental ways to control the properties of these particles, chemically manipulating the magnetic interactions at the atomic level," Zhang says. Zhang and his colleagues have also taken another critical step, demonstrating that antibodies attached to the surface of their nanoparticles maintain their bioactivity. In use, specific antibodies on the nanoparticles would recognize and bind to receptors on the cancer cells and release their load of chemotherapy drugs. Using surface-chemistry techniques, Zhang also has camouflaged the surface of his particles to help them get past the body's immune system.

Making Military Marvels A RESEARCH TEAM FROM GEORGIA TECH, NASA and the Stanford Research Institute see tantalizing defense possibilities in the nanoworld, options available only by engineering new materials from the atom on up. Their work focuses on "meta materials" for breakthrough antennas and new resistive magnetic, conductive and infrared coatings. "We have largely reached the limit of what we can do in electromagnetics with the materials nature has provided," says Rick Moore, principal research scientist in the Signature Technology Lab of the Georgia Tech Research Institute. "We now need to understand how to change the basic parameters of the materials we use. Nanoscience offers one potential technique to change those fundamental properties." Moore and research engineer Douglas Denison head a team that includes Uzi Landman from the

Summer 2001 • G E O R G I A T E C H


School of Physics and Mohan Srinivasarao from the School of Textile and Fiber Engineering. Landman offers a decade of experience in molecular dynamics simulation of nanoscale materials; Srinivasarao brings expertise in a novel self-assembly process for nanoscale structures. The team brings together expertise from the nanometer-size scale â&#x20AC;&#x201D; where quantum mechanics plays its tricks â&#x20AC;&#x201D; on up to sizes that can be seen and touched. "We are taking the next step to bridge all of these size domains, from the quantum and micron scales all the way to a perceptible scale," Denison says. Building on GTRI's experience with electromagnetic materials, the four-year program begins with advanced modeling and basic science. It will conclude with production of nanomaterials possessing unique properties. One possibility is a new material for the ground planes of future conformal antennas, the flat antennas on the sides of military vehicles. The ground plane increases antenna gain by redirecting electromagnetic energy outward. Physical laws dictate that it be separated from the antennas' radiating elements by a distance set by the wavelength of the energy. This limits the frequencies at which a single antenna performs well. Researchers dream of a conductive magnetic material that would void these laws, making possible thinner antennas that work well over broad band widths. "Nanoscience offers an opportunity to make materials in the same way you would construct a building," Denison says. "You have a plan, and you work with beams and bricks to get the big structure you want. We won't be limited anymore

Researcher Shannon Scott uses optical tweezers to study binding forces between protein molecules.


GEORGIA TECH Summer 2001

to the bulk materials that nature has provided us."

Shrinking Semiconductors AS SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE SIZES continue to shrink, existing fabrication processes move closer to the day they must be replaced by revolutionary new techniques. But until new processes are ready, the industry will modify existing systems to get a few more circuit generations from them. One of those modifications is surface-initiated deposition. Being developed by Tech researchers Cliff Henderson, Laren Tolbert and Dennis Hess, this technique promises to bypass technical issues involved in making smaller device sizes by traditional lithography processes. "We want to show that this is a viable way to pattern small dimensions," Hess explains. "If it is, there will be a number of people very interested in trying this on actual wafers." He estimates that surface-initiated polymerization could be implemented within five years.

Amazing Nanoparticles MORE EFFICIENT CATALYSTS. Improved sensors. A new optical data-storage technique. Fluorescent labels for biological studies. These are just a few of the applications being developed by Georgia Tech researchers to take advantage of the unique properties found in nanometer-scale metals.

In the Laser Dynamics Laboratory at the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mostafa El-Sayed and colleagues have studied catalytic properties of nanoparticles since the mid-1990s. The El-Sayed group reported in Science that because nanoparticles are so small, it was possible to synthesize them with different shapes. Now they are examining the different catalytic properties the various shapes might have for industrial and environmental uses. Catalytic reactions take place only on the surface of these materials. Atoms not exposed to the reaction cannot participate, so increasing the percentage of atoms with surface exposure maximizes use of the costly platinum or palladium catalysts. Up to 70 percent of atoms in nanoscale catalysts can be involved in reactions, compared to a very small percentage of atoms in bulk catalysts. "Most of the atoms then are helping you in the reaction, so if you are using a very expensive material, you don't need as much," El-Sayed says. "The efficiency per gram of material can be orders of magnitude higher." Nanoscale catalysts also are more efficient than bulk catalysts and thus can catalyze reactions at lower temperatures to save energy. But the nanoparticles tend to aggregate, forming larger and less efficient structures unless "capped" by a polymer material. That capping, however, reduces the surface available for catalysis. And researchers must devise a structure to hold the tiny particles without the capping material. Laser Dynamics Laboratory researchers also study the unique optical properties of gold nanoparticles and nanorods. At the nanometer scale, these metal particles absorb light in unique ways, producing characteristically bright red colors that once found use in stained glass windows. The phenomena may find more modern application in making sensors more efficient. The luminescent ability of gold nanorods may also find applications in imaging. Robert Whetten also studies the unique optical properties of gold at the very smallest of scales. Examining nanoclusters containing between 20 and 40 gold atoms encapsulated by an ordinary biomolecule, he and Gregory Schaaff found distinctly chiral properties in the way the nanoclusters absorb light. Theory had suggested such right-handed and left-handed absorption properties, but Whetten and Schaaff reported the first experimental evidence in a Journal of Physical Chemistry paper. "When clusters are prepared this way, we see that the conduction electrons in the gold circulate

in such a way as to have the unique optical effect of preferring one direction of circularly polarized light over the other direction," says Whetten, a professor in the School of Physics and the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The study measured nanoclusters created by attaching glutathione â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a common sulfur-containing tripeptide â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to individual gold atoms. In the resulting gold-glutathione polymer, gold atoms make no direct contact with one another. Decomposing the polymer produces the gold nanoclusters, which have glutathione molecules adsorbed to their surfaces so as to physically limit the number of metal atoms that could join each cluster. The phenomena could be used for labeling biological molecules during experimentation. Silver nanoclusters composed of two to eight atoms also produce interesting optical properties, demonstrating fluorescence that could lead to a new type of optical data storage. Writing in the journal Science, Georgia Tech researchers described binary optical storage based on writing and reading simple imAt the nanoscale, metal particles ages recorded on thin behave differently than they do in bulk films of silver oxide quantities. Gold nanoparticles and nanoparticles. nanorods absorb light in unique ways, "These nanomaterials producing characteristic colors. have a remarkable new property: when you shine blue light with a wavelength of less than 520 nanometers onto them, you switch on their ability to fluoresce," says Robert M. Dickson, assistant professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry. "You can then read the fluorescence nondestructively by illuminating the clusters with longer-wavelength light." The researchers begin by producing extremely thin films (less than 20 nanometers thick) of silver oxide nanoparticles on a glass slide. They then selectively expose portions of the film to light in the blue spectrum. The light chemically reduces particles near the surface of the film, partially converting them to clusters of silver atoms. When researchers expose these photo-activated silver clusters to longer wavelength green light, the clusters fluoresce strongly, emitting red light. Silver oxide particles not photo-activated by exposure to blue light don't fluoresce. Studied under a microscope, the individual silver particles show an additional property that may be useful for increasing the density of

Summer 2001 â&#x20AC;˘ G E O R G I A T E C H


optical data storage.

"If you look at an individual particle through the microscope, you see green emission, then red emission, then yellow emission all from the same particle," Dickson says. "Not only are you generating fluorescence, but you presumably are also changing the size and/or geometry of the cluster, which causes it to emit different wavelengths." By using the right distribution of particle sizes, these multicolored emissions could allow storage of more than one bit of information in each data point. Distributed in a three-dimensional matrix, the particles could provide a dense storage medium that could be written and read in parallel. Simple images stored on the silver oxide film can be read nondestructively by green light for at least two days, the longest time the researchers studied them. Though they have demonstrated an ability to optically write and read information, the researchers do not yet know if their film can be optically erased and rewritten.

Signaling Cancer Cells PANCREATIC CANCER IS A SILENT KILLER, often reaching an advanced stage before being diagnosed. Researchers led by Gang Bao hope to use molecular-scale beacons to find genetic signs of cancer and signal clinicians with a burst of fluorescence. The molecular beacons consist of three parts: a fluorescent dye molecule and a "quencher" molecule on opposite ends of an oligonucleotide engineered to match specific genetic mutations associated with cancer. Initially, the two molecules are held close together in a hairpin shape, the quencher preventing fluorescence emission from the dye. Delivered into cells, the beacons seek out and bind to Gang Bao (seated) the mutated genetic material, known as mRNA. This breaks and doctoral student Andrew Tsourkas the bonds holding dye and believe "cancer quencher together, producing diagnosis based on a fluorescent signal visible molecular beacons should be much microscopically. faster than any techThe current design of nique now available." beacons, however, is prone to They have shown digestion by cellular enzymes, that their technique which activates the beacons to has the potential to "become a very create false signals. To overpowerful tool for come this difficulty, the Bao cancer diagnosis." lab has developed a new


G E O R G I A T E C H â&#x20AC;˘ Summer 2001

Summer 2001 • GEORGIA TECH

dual-beacon system that detects the fluorescence resonance energy transfer — FRET — between two beacons bound to the same mRNA target, significantly increasing detection sensitivity. "This could become a very powerful clinical tool for cancer diagnosis," says Bao, associate professor in the Georgia Tech/Emory School of Biomedical Engineering. "If there are mutations in the cell, the beacons should find them. Cancer diagnosis based on molecular beacons should be much faster than any technique now available." Bao, his doctoral student Andrew Tsourkas and collaborators at ^^TargetmRNA/^ Emory University have shown ODN Probe that the tech'':X nique can efficiently detect several common Molecular beacons genes. They also have bind to mutated shown how the detection genetic material and signal its presence time and specificity depend with fluorescence. on the structure of the beacons. But their work faces challenges. They must demonstrate that their FRET-enhanced molecular beacons will find the mutated mRNA quickly — within 30 minutes. They also must find better dye molecules to provide a detectable signal even if the mutation exists in just one of 10,000 cells. The technique would be useful in diagnostic testing. But to be really useful against pancreatic and other cancers for which no good screening tests exist, it would have to detect cancer markers in blood or other easily collected body fluid. Ulti-

mately, Bao hopes the beacons — just a few nanometers in size — will be able to detect cancerous cells in the human body. "Even if the difference between the mRNA for the cancer and the normal mRNA is only one base pair, the molecular beacons can still differentiate between the two," Bao says. "If we can detect the cancer early enough, very likely the outcome of cancer patients can be dramatically improved."

Nanobelting Sensors FIRST CAME NANOTUBES, then nanowires, nanoclusters and nanoparticles. Welcome nanobelts to the growing, but still very small, world of nanometer-scale structures. Georgia Tech researchers have created a new class of structures just 10 to 15 nanometers thick and 30 to 300 nanometers wide. Dubbed nanobelts, the new structures could be the basis for inexpensive ultra-small sensors, components for improved flat-panel displays and "smart" windows for controlling the amount of heat and light entering buildings. Produced from semiconducting metal oxides, nanobelts offer important advantages over other nanoscale structures in electronic applications. Chemically pure, structurally uniform and largely defect-free with surfaces that don't require protection against oxidation, each nanobelt is made up of a single crystal. "This is a vitally important area of nanotechnology," says Zhong Lin Wang, director of Georgia

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A new class of structures known as nanobelts may have applications in sensors, flat-panel displays and "smart" windows. A team of researchers, including Zhong Wang, Zhengwei Pan and Zurong Dai, produce oxide-based nanobelts in a high-temperature furnace (left). A microscope image shows ribbon-like nanobelts.


GEORGIA TECH • Summer 2001

Tech's Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and a professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering. "If we are successful at these applications, it may lead to major technological advances in nano-size sensors and functional devices with low power consumption and high sensitivity." Wang and colleagues have so far produced nanobelts from oxides of zinc, tin, indium, cadmium and gallium. They believe other semiconducting oxides also may be used to make the structures. Finished nanobelts resemble clumps of cotton. Despite their origin in normally brittle oxides, the structures are flexible and can be bent 180 degrees without breaking.

Charting a Small World UZI LANDMAN AND KEVIN BRENNAN study devices and structures too small to build with today's technology. Using powerful computer simulations based on established physics principles, they explore the world of the very small to provide guidance for tomorrow's device designers â&#x20AC;&#x201D; suggesting appropriate materials, warning of pitfalls and recommending routes to avoid. Director of the Center for Computational Materials Science and a professor of physics, Landman relies on supercomputers to understand how thousands of atoms and molecules interact under the influence of quantum mechanics. He and his research team examine how wires just a few atoms in diameter will behave, what might be necessary to operate nanoscale jets and how unique molecular effects may hamper lubrication in tiny machines. "Atomistic simulation methods allow interrogations of complex materials systems with a resolution in space and time that is often not possible by other theoretical approaches," Landman says. "In such 'numerical experiments,' researchers can investigate the behavior of matter under conditions that are sometimes difficult, hazardous or impossible to realize in the laboratory." The simulations often show dramatic differences between materials at the nanoscale and those same materials at more familiar-size scales. "Small is really different," Landman says. With more than a decade of experience simulating small structures, Landman has now seen many of his predictions borne out as experiment catches up with theory. In November, he won the Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology (Theoretical) for

pioneering work in computational materi- Professor Uzi Landman uses als science. supercomputerBrennan, professor in the School of based molecular Electrical and Computer Engineering, dynamics simulation to study the unique studies the unique properties of nextproperties of nanogeneration compound semiconductors. wires, nanojets and His work on electron transport, failure other structures. modes and other effects will help BELOW: Landman's nanoelectronic device designers of the technique shows unusual behavior of future choose the right materials. lubricant molecules While Brennan focuses primarily on in confined spaces. wideband gap materials for high-powered, high-frequency telecommunications devices, his predictions also apply to traditional silicon. "We start from the fundamental physical principles of the electronic structure and calculate what happens as electrons move through the crystal and interact with the lattice," Brennan says. "We can put all of the factors into our simulator and predict with reasonable certainty what the electrons are really experiencing. From there, we can move to device geometry and explain how the device is going to behave. This is particularly important in nanostructures as we miniaturize devices." The information Brennan's group develops will help designers understand the trade-offs between device properties in these new materials â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and suggest the most promising experimental routes for learning about them. "We are the point people, out in front of the device designers, trying to understand what will be going on," Brennan says. "We're helping choose

Summer 2001 â&#x20AC;˘ GEORGIA TECH


the optimal routes to follow in selecting materials and building devices to minimize the cost and improve performance."

Old Process, New Tricks IN THE MICROELECTRONICS INDUSTRY, molecular beam epitaxy is used to grow thin films of materials with atomic-scale precision. A Georgia Tech professor is pushing the limits of MBE, hoping to gain more control of the process â&#x20AC;&#x201D; enough to produce self-assembled quantum dots in the right sizes and locations for a new generation of electronics. Quantum dots are one-dimensional bundles of atoms, typically 100 atoms in diameter and 10 atoms high. Because their electrons are confined to such a small area, the tiny structures possess unique properties that may be useful in the next generation of 1 electronic devices. But before MBE can be used to grow quanMolecular tum dots useful to nanoelecbeam epitaxy tronics, researchers must learn to has long been important to microcontrol it well electronics research. enough to conTech researchers April sistently proBrown (right) and Jongduce structures Jong Shen (right photo, with uniform with Brown) use Tech's sizes in desired MBE systems to understand how to control locations. Curthe formulation of quantum dots (above).


GEORGIA TECH â&#x20AC;˘ Summ

rent technology produces randomly spaced quantum dots that often grow too large. "We'd like to be able to absolutely control where they are deposited, where they nucleate and what their size is," says April Brown, professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "The perfect material would be a three-dimensional volume in which you have an array of uniformly sized, regularly spaced quantum dots."

Testing Nanostructures MATERIALS SCIENTISTS have worked with metals like copper and nickel for many years, so their properties are well documented. But nanostructured versions of these familiar metals open up possibilities for new and unique combinations of mechanical properties. Nanostructured materials result from novel processing techniques that dramatically reduce the size of crystals that make up the bulk metals, dropping them from the micrometer- to the nanometer-sized scale. That alters the behavior of line defects in the crystalline structure known as dislocations, making the nanostructured metals orders of magnitude stronger than their traditional forms. But the strength increase may come at the cost of other important properties, a trade-off that provides an important new area for research. "If you look at the performance of a metal in an aircraft, strength is only one of the properties we care about," says Ashok Saxena, chair of the School of Materials Science and Engineering. "It's also important to get the right amount of toughness, creep resistance, corrosion resistance and fatigue resistance. We don't know yet if these new materials will be optimal in all those properties." The new nanostructured materials are also too costly to study using traditional test procedures. So researchers are developing testing techniques to investigate key properties using small samples. A diamond nanoindentation tester allows study of deformation and hardness properties. By pressing a diamond tip just 10 nanometers wide into the sample, indentation and displacement together provide data for understanding the properties. Atomic force microscopy also provides information about the new nanostructured materials. By furnishing a topographical view of the materials' surface, researchers can "see" features 3 to 5 nanometers high that provide evidence of metal fatigue.

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Lighting Optical Applications THE WAVELENGTH OF LIGHT is measured in nanometers, so it's not surprising that optical scientists have a strong interest in a new generation of nanoscale devices for directing, amplifying, switching, processing, sensing and otherwise manipulating light. In April, Tech researchers announced a new self-assembly technique for producing complex three-dimensional polymer structures with potential applications as photonic band gap materials, optical waveguides, laser arrays and beam-steering systems. Reported in the journal Science, the simple technique directs moist air across a polymer material dissolved in a fast-evaporating solvent. "This represents an easy way of making materials with the regular structure needed for optical and photonic applications," says Mohan Srinivasarao, a polymer chemist in the School of Textile and Fiber Scientist Jung Park uses a Engineering and School of confocal microscope to study a self-assembled polyChemistry and Biochemistry. mer structure that has poten "This is completely a selftial photonic applications. assembly process. With very The hole in the sample (belittle work, you can form low) is 3.5 microns across. «M3 n ' c °ly ordered structures." £% fa Gk Srinivasarao and col^ _ . _ **. leagues produce interconnected arrays of spherical


GEORGIA TECH • Summer 2001

air bubbles in uniform sizes from 0.2 microns (200 nanometers) up to 20 microns in diameter. "We have focused on how to modify the refractive index so we can use these as a photonic band gap material, which is the first application we will go after," Srinivasarao says. "But what we will be able to do is limited only by the imagination." In the School of Materials Science and Engineering, Chris Summers leads a group investigating the properties of photonic crystals fabricated into thin films, to tune and increase the intensity of luminescence in phosphors. They also are developing high-dispersion materials and comparing the properties of two-dimensional thin-film photonic crystals with three-dimensional opal structures. "Photonic crystals offer new ways of adding to the functionality of optical materials and are expected to have a revolutionary impact on optical signal processing and data transmission systems for communications and displays," says Summers, director of the Phosphor Technology Center of Excellence at Georgia Tech. Fabricated from luminescent and electro-optic materials, the crystals offer better control over the emission, spectral purity and dispersion properties of light. Ultimately, this will allow development of a range of new devices such as displays with more highly saturated colors, faster response times and lower thresholds, and fast all-optical switches for optical communication and computing systems, GT


WEEKEND MARK YOUR CALENDAR NOW: OCTOBER 19 & 2 0 , 2 0 0 1 Admit it—during your days at Tech, you looked forward to Homecoming Weekend. Well, the Georgia Tech Alumni Association wants you—and your family—back for a weekend-long carnival of events, festivities and unique Tech traditions, including: # Campus and Alumni Association updates at Lunch with the President. # Fun and informative new programs developed especially for alumni with Tech faculty. # Another exciting Buzz Bash, where alumni, friends and family will enjoy festive food, entertainment and the traditional fireworks finale at Bobby Dodd Stadium. # Reunions! The 25th Reunion of the Class of 76, the 40th Reunion of the Class of '61,



the 50th Reunion of the Class of '51, and the Class of Old Gold Reunion for graduates of '50 and earlier. # The ever-innovative Ramblin' Wreck Parade. # The Alumni Tailgate Party for good eats, old friends, and a lot of Yellow lacket Spirit to get ready for the big game! # Yellow Jackets vs. NC State Wolf Pack —come out and cheer the White and Gold! We'll be looking forward to seeing you! Watch for your personal invitation packet in the mail, and look for all the exciting event details online at


The Yellow Jackets stand for the national anthem. BELOW: Coach Danny Hall (right) and Tech's McEver Chair holder, Thomas Lux.


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II Summer 2001 • G E O R G I A T E C H


Thomas Lux, director of the master of fine arts program in poetry atworse, a spy from another team. I explained that I was a Sarah Lawrence College and the first recipient of a Georgia Techbaseball nut and a writer, a poet primarily, and I wanted to hang around the team for several games, watch from the writing chair endowed by alumnus Bruce McEver, is an avid baseball fan. A former Guggenheim Fellow and winner of the dugout, talk to him and the players, and write about it. Kingsley Tufts Award for his book of poems, Split Horizon, Lux He said, "Sure." received a dugout seat for an intimate look at Yellow jacket baseball. And I thought: lucky life.

By Thomas Lux

1 ech played the first six games of the year on the road and went 5-1. On Feb. 23, the first home game of a three-game series was played against Elon College. "It's a great day for a ball game," I say to Hall during first visited Georgia Tech in the early winter of 1999. batting practice. I'd been invited to give a poetry reading and teach a class on poetry writing. I was given a tour of the "Beats a real job," he says. campus by Professor Allen Rausch, During batting practice, outfielder acting chair of the School of Literature, Brad Stockton was hitting ropes all over Communications and Culture for the Ivan the field. A big carrot-headed kid, Matt Allen College. Murton, took his licks in the batting cage, the ball exploding off his bat. Ditto out"I want to see the baseball field," I said. fielder Jason Basil and Brian Prince, an I had three primary motives: I love intense catcher who reminded me immebaseball. I knew Georgia Tech had a great diately of Carlton Fisk. A Bob Dylan song team. I'm a lifelong, live-and-mostly-diewas playing over the loudspeaker. by-the-Boston-Red-Sox fan, and Nomar One of the players walked by, Garciaparra and Jason Varitek, current Red absentmindedly knocking a baseball, to Sox players, played their the beat of the music, college ball at Georgia Tech. I wanted to walk where I wanted to hang around the team for several games, against his athletic cup. Nomar and Jason walked. The team seemed loose, watch from the dugout, talk to Coach Hall For luck, for baseball juju. off to a hot start, ranked No. 1, on the warmest day and the players, and write about it. He said, "Sure." of winter, first home game. Steve Kelly, an affable wo years later, I was back And I thought: junior from Ohio, was at Tech, this time for a pitching for Tech, and the whole semester, Spring Jackets were quickly 2001, as the first holder of down 3-0. the McEver Chair in WritIn the third inning, on a ing. I walked by Russ Chanshort fly ball to left field, dler Stadium on the way to Tech third baseman Mark Teixeira — the No. 1 college my office. In late January or early February, I heard the player in the country and everyone's bet to go first in the sound of a bat striking a baseball. spring draft — broke his ankle. This is a beautiful sound. Left fielder Matthew Boggs came in for the ball and It evokes sensory images of spring and summer to folcalled off Teixeira and shortstop Victor Menocal, who were low, evenings of fireflies and back yards and baseball games also going after the ball. Menocal veered off; Teixeira hit the over a radio, over a fence. Let us not quibble over the differdeck and slid into Boggs' planted feet. Teixeira stood up ence between the sound of a wooden bat vs. a metal bat. fairly quickly, but when he tried to walk, he went right They'll always use wooden bats in the big leagues, metal down again. There was an audible gasp from the dugout. bats on every other level. Everyone knew something terrible had happened. Either way, it's a beautiful sound. In a very short time — the student medical center is A month or so later, I was having lunch with Danny across the street from the stadium — Teixeira was back in Hall, in his eighth season at Tech and one of the most rethe dugout on crutches, his ankle heavily wrapped. The spected head coaches in college baseball. His team, always a word was surgery in a few days, a couple of pins in the powerhouse, had just been ranked No. 1 in major college ankle, at least two months on the shelf. baseball. He had a row of hitters that would scare the paint off bleacher seats. He had a couple of junior-transfer startOne of the finest things I heard him say was, "We better ing pitchers he had high hopes for and a couple of freshmen win this damn game." pitchers who threw the ball hard. Hall told me he'd seen me Teixeira sat on the bench in the middle of the dugout, his at the field. At the time, he thought 1 might be a scout or, ankle propped up, while his teammates approached him Photography by Curtis Compton





GEORGIA TECH • Summer 2001


singly or in twos and threes. He'd never been hurt before. He's from Maryland and has probably played baseball nine to 10 months a year since T-ball. He was the top college player in the country, batting .500 (6 for 12), with a 1.0421 slugging percentage. This whole glorious season was supposed to end with the College World Series and him going No. 1 in the draft. He wouldn't get back into the lineup until late May. By the seventh inning, Tech had 17 hits and won the game easily. But another kid on the bench was hit on the chin with a line foul.

Baseball is a game of inches, even millimeters, but it is also a game of superstition. Sammy Crawford, the student manager, was working on a mojo ball, applying a small piece of white medical tape to a baseball each time a Tech player got up to hit. Just before each game, in front of the dugout, Sammy would soft-toss the ball to Andy Mitchell, a senior pitcher, and he would hit it back, on the ground, exactly three times, batting first lefty, then righty. I asked Sammy about this. He said the idea was to get a little bit of the field — dirt, a grass stain — on the ball for each game, before he started adding pieces of tape. I like that. It made the ball almost an archeological object — a part of each game, the day, the weather — permanently embedded in the growing mojo ball. Last year's ball got pretty big, the size of a coconut. But later in the season, the mojo ball was gone. Sammy killed it. It's his call, he's keeper of the mojo ball. Things weren't going so well, Tech had lost a couple of tough games, so he killed it.

Boggs is out of this game too. He was hurt in the collision with Teixeira and, later in the same game, he got banged up in a play at the plate. He was in the dugout, as was Teixeira.

Boggs is the quintessential leadoff hitter. He's listed at 5 feet 10 inches tall, 165 pounds, but he's probably an inch shorter and a dime lighter. He's strong, fast and tougher than Chinese algebra. He'll do anything to get on base. He's Tech's all-time hit-by-pitch leader (40 plus) and in late April his onbase percentage was .471. He eyeballs Elon's leadoff hitter, a kid about his size, and says, "Tell me I don't look as small up there as that guy." "You could break him like a pencil," I say. "That's just about what I was thinking," he says. That's the kind of leadoff hitter you like to have on your team. The third game I watched from the dugout, a big one, was against North Carolina State. Tech is 12-4, with a team batting average of .371. That's about what Nomar Garciaparra hit last year in winning the American League batting title. The game doesn't go well. Tech's pitchers are knocked around and the Jackets are down 8-0 after two innings. The bench is tense. A Tech player yells at an opponent, "You'll learn, freshman, you'll learn!" One kid says of an opposing hitter, "He couldn't hit sand if he fell off a camel." That was one of my favorite euphemisms. There's a scary moment when a high pop-up behind the plate drifts over toward Tech's dugout. Teixeira, a couple of other players and an assistant coach are sitting beside the dugout — technically on the playing field. Teixeira has to hop along the top step of the dugout on one foot, his crutches in his left hand. I'm thinking, "Don't fall down those stairs, don't fall down those stairs!" There is no mishap, but Tech loses the game 16-8.

The next game I can go to is the first night game of the year, March 21, at home against state-rival Georgia. Tech is 17-5, team batting average .358, team ERA a very respectable 4.32. Opponents are batting .277 against Tech pitching and the opponents' ERA against Tech is an astonishing Summer 2001



Steve Kelly is pitching. You'll see his name in the box scores down the line. He's got the goods. He likes to throw that speedball by you.

10.37. At the end of the season the team batting average had dropped a few points, but every regular, with the exception of outfielder Wes Rynders, who could catch anything, was hitting .330. Lord, it is fun to watch these kids play baseball. Tonight they seem tight. The starting pitcher gets knocked around. They're down 5-0, then 8-4, then close to 87. But Tech can't score enough runs and Georgia wins 15-9.

lech sweeps the next three games against Maryland. The Jackets win the first easily, but the next two are slugfests. But, as usual, if you slug toe-to-toe with Tech, Tech wins. Victor Menocal was on a tear at this point and batting nearly .400. He hit one of the hardest home runs I'd ever seen hit on any level. It got out on the line over the left-field fence fast. Menocal played third and outfield after Teixeira got hurt. You look at this kid for several games and see not only his skills but his general athleticism and how strong and quick he is. Second baseman Richard Lewis, another fierce hitter, says to me after another player weakly grounds out, "Don't put that in your poem."

There are rules. Anything done well takes discipline. This is a disciplined but happy team. l \ big game with UGA on April 24 is called because of rain. It was going to be televised so, even though the field was a mess, it took a few hours before it was shut down. Hall and Georgia coach Ron Polk walk onto the field, talking. It is a melancholy sight. My days in Atlanta are dwindling, the term coming to an end. I had given an exam to my poetry class. One of the questions was "Calculate the weight, the unbearable weight, of that thread on your shoulder." A couple of the kids literally plucked a thread from their shoulders and, using an atomic scale or some such technology, actually weighed it. I loved teaching at Tech.

I h e last game I was able to watch was on April 27, when Tech played Florida State, an Atlantic Coast Conference powerhouse. Teixeira is in uniform, though still with a pronounced limp and not yet taking the field. Steve Kelly is pitching. He asks for the titles of some of my books. I tell The Jackets win the first game easily, him the latest, just out, and mention that it is very but the next two are slugfests. But, as usual, short. "Good, I like short if you slug toe-to-toe with Tech, Tech wins. books," he says. You'll see his name in the box scores down the line. He's got the goods. He likes to throw that speedball by you.

V V hen things are going well, there is one topic of conversation that seems to come up more than others — girls. They all lament the 7-3 men-to-women ratio at Tech. I mention that the to watch these kids play baseball percentages are exactly the opposite at Sarah Lawrence L/espite not getting hit hard once, he gives up four runs in College, where I've taught for 25 years. the first inning. Menocal is thrown out at the plate in a One of the guys says, "Do they have a baseball team?" bang-bang play. But Tech hitters get them back in the game and the Jackets win by scoring three in the bottom of the ninth on a homer by Basil. L/uring one of these games, I sat at the end of the dugout near Hall and assistant coach Mike Trepasso. I wanted to see how they communicated, see if I could see one one1 am leaving town the next morning at the crack of dawn to hundredth of what they see. flog a new book in Washington state. I wanted to stay They keep a pitch-by-pitch chart of each game, and Hall longer in Atlanta, at Tech, to watch more games ... all the remembers specific pitches thrown to the same batter the way to Omaha. night before. One of the things he most likes about coaching Tech is knocked out of the National Collegiate Athletic college ball is that kids still have "listening devices." Association regionals by arch-rival Georgia on May 26. The They still can be taught. Jackets finish the season 41-20. I like that metaphor — listening device. Like a hearing My prediction: aid. A lot of us have a problem with deafness, even when This fall the Boston Red Sox win the World Series. our physical hearing apparatus is working fine. He seemed Next year Tech wins the College World Series. to combine what I feel is a pretty ideal teaching philosophy There, I've said it. In print, GT — iron fist, velvet glove.

, 1] b rilJJ

Summer 2001 • GEORGIA TECH


incoming freshmen with an average SAT score of 1337 Continuous growth in the U.S. News & World Report rankings 12,500 job interviews for graduating students last year alone 93% of Faculty holding PhDs

Roll Call contributors DO make a difference at Georgia Tech!

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of Joe Morse

Six weeks before the end of the 2000 school year, Georgia Tech freshman Joe Morse disrupted his academic career. At the semester's end — as his mother awaited his arrival in an Ohio airport — he withdrew $120 from an ATM machine in Atlanta and vanished. Summer 2001 • GEORGIA TECH


"There's a void ... you look out and there's nothing. You just don't know."

By Maria M. Lameiras


#1 1

n his family's dreams, Joe Morse is * — — l home. Both asleep and awake, the thought is with them every day that maybe this will be the day the phone will ring and he will be on the line or he will walk back through the door of their home in Maineville, Ohio. Joe disappeared from the Georgia Tech campus on May 6, 2000. His last known whereabouts was at an ATM machine in Atlanta's Lenox Mall at 10:58 a.m., just about the same time his mother, Debbie Morse, was waiting for him to get off a stand-by flight at the Dayton International Airport. Since that last bank withdrawal of $120, neither the Georgia Tech or Atlanta police nor the FBI have been able find any trace of the young man who chose Georgia Tech both for its academic challenges and the thrill of the energetic city that surrounds the campus. His family has spent each day since waiting for a sign. "There's just a void. It's like walking to the edge of a precipice, you look out and there's nothing. You just don't know," says Joe's father, Wayne Morse. In the months that have followed, the Morses have come to realize the events leading up to Joe's disappearance paint a disturbing picture of a bright, easygoing kid who quietly became overwhelmed. Joe's interest in Georgia Tech was born during his junior year at Archbishop Moeller High School, a closely knit boys Catholic high school in Cincinnati. He had decided to study engineering and began researching his college choices. "He went online and found the highestranked schools in engineering in the country," Debbie says. "He made a list and The Lenox ATM automatically snapped then, the summer before his senior photographs of Joe Morse on the day he year, he and Wayne started visiting was to return home to Ohio. It is the last schools." known location of the Tech freshman. When he returned, Joe applied to the University of Dayton, University of Cincinnati, Iowa State University, Georgia Tech and California Polytechnic. Although he 42

G E O R G I A T E C H • Summer 2001

"***, i ****; u


Easter Sunday "we got to the airport with about three minutes to spare, gave Joe a hug, he jumped on the plane and we watched it take off." That was the last time the Morses saw their son.

was accepted by all of the schools and offered scholarships by Dayton, Cincinnati and Iowa, Joe chose Georgia Tech. Debbie has all of the acceptance letters in Joe's scrapbook, an album filled with photos that track Joe from babyhood to the Georgia Tech campus and pages sprinkled with Tech-colored confetti and a cutout of Buzz. She ran her hands over the photos as she remembered. "He liked Iowa State, but when you get off campus you're in cornfields," Debbie says. "He wanted to be in a bigger city where there would be something to do off campus. Tech was his first choice even when he wasn't offered a scholarship." Debbie and Wayne sat down with Joe after he'd made his choice and talked to him about financing his education. "We told him how much we had to send him to school and how much his contribution would have to be," Debbie says. Joe's determination to attend Tech showed through his financial planning. "He had a savings account with some money set aside and he got a job at the mall in Cincinnati for the summer. He saved all the money he made and by the end of the summer he had his contribution for the first two years put away," Debbie says proudly. "That was his goal, he was very happy. He also planned to co-op and he knew he'd have the money from the co-op job, too." As the time approached for Joe to leave for Tech, Debbie worried about how her son would adjust to being so far away from home, normal parental nervousness surrounding the first of her three children going out of state to school. The Morses' older son, Ben, is a student at the Cleveland Institute of Art, a little more than 200 miles from home. "It was farther away, but once you have one go to college you're broken in a little," Debbie says. "I felt apprehensive, but I was OK."


nce the fall semester started, the fear melted away into pleasant surprise. "He would call up and tell us about the different projects he was working on and what he was doing outside of class. He was elected hall council president of his dorm, which kind of surprised me because he's always been involved in things, but he's not really the kind to be the leader," Debbie says. "Then he told me no one else really wanted to do it. I thought that made more sense because Joe would always pitch in when he was needed; he'd do whatever he thought would make other people happy." That first semester, Joe made the Dean's List with a 3.37 grade point average, completing chemistry, introduction to 44

GEORGIA TECH â&#x20AC;˘ Summer 2001

computing, English composition I, health and calculus I. Joe's visit home for the winter break went well, Debbie says, and in the spring he registered for English composition II, calculus II, introduction to physics I, United States government, and his first engineering class, introduction to engineering graphics. The first half of the spring semester passed uneventfully. When the grades were passed in to the dean for the first half of the semester, Joe's were good. He headed home for spring break, hanging out with friends before driving back to Atlanta with Debbie on Friday. "He was anxious to get back because they were supposed to get their co-op offers back," Debbie says. An avid athlete who was on the cross country and lacrosse teams in high school and played intramural football at Tech, Joe went running after having dinner with his mom, taking a route past the post office to check his mail. When he returned, they went to see the Tech baseball team play. Debbie stayed overnight at a hotel and, because no one else was back at the residence hall, Joe did, too. Debbie left Sunday morning. Later the Morses would discover that something went wrong during the six weeks between spring break and Easter. Joe began to let things slide. He kept up with his work in his engineering class because other students depended on him for group projects. He continued to go to that class until the end of the semester, but did not show up for the final exam. He did his online homework for calculus and physics, but stopped going to class. He dropped out of his English and government classes entirely. And, most telling to his parents, Joe stopped running. "It was as if he prioritized what was most important to him because there was just not enough energy to do everything," Debbie says. She feels the impersonal nature of large classes made his absence less noticeable. Calls home still came on a regular basis, and when the Morses called, Joe would tell them he was OK, his grades were fine. He discussed his plans to take classes in the summer so he could co-op with Caterpillar in the fall, a bit of a scheduling task because co-ops usually take place in the summer, but Caterpillar didn't want him to start until later. He said he was making arrangements to keep his dorm room over the summer. He even paid the advance fee required to register for housing for the next academic year. Now, when she looks back on her conversations with her son or examines his conversations with others, Debbie agonizes that she should have recognized something was wrong or picked up on some hidden signal.

Maria M. Lameiras

Joe's parents, Wayne and Debbie Morse, hold the "missing student" poster they have circulated in their attempts to find Joe.

"Each student has a password they use to get into the computer system at Tech to check on grades and to check fee schedules and things. Most students don't give those to their parents because they don't have to, but Joe gave us his," Debbie says. "Around that time I tried to use the password to get in and check something and it didn't work. I asked Joe about it and he said the system was down. It made sense because that had happened before." Joe went home for Easter, flying to Dayton on Friday night, April 21. It was a long trip for a short visit home, but Joe wanted to play golf with his father, brother and a group of friends who came together every year for what they dubbed "The Easter Open," a round of golf in which top honors go to the worst golfer. Debbie recalls that her son slept more than usual that weekend, but he didn't seem any more tired than any college student nearing the end of a challenging freshman year. "He seemed relaxed and at ease," Wayne says, remembering Easter Sunday. "In typical fashion, we got to the airport with about three minutes to spare, gave him a hug, he jumped on the plane and we watched it take off." That was the last time the Morses saw their son.


n Thursday, May 4, the end of final exams week, Joe called home to finalize travel plans with his mom. He and a group of friends planned to go out in Atlanta Friday night, and on Saturday he would fly into Dayton International Airport on AirTran, which offered the cheapest standby fares for young adults. If he wasn't able to get on any of the four flights from Atlanta that day, he would go to the Greyhound station and take the overnight bus back to Ohio. Joe also e-mailed a couple of friends to say they should get together while he was home. On Saturday morning, Debbie got up and got ready to go to the airport. "I didn't have to leave until almost 10 and he was supposed to call if he didn't get onto the 9 o'clock flight," she says. "He didn't call, so I left." At the airport, Debbie waited at the gate, but Joe didn't get off the plane. The gate attendants checked the flight list. Joe wasn't on it. "Joe is pretty responsible, so I thought maybe I'd left the house too early and missed his call," she says. Debbie called home, but Joe's younger sister, Allie, said he hadn't called. Debbie settled in to wait for the next flight to come in early that afternoon. She didn't wait long. Summer 2001 'GEORGIA TECH


"Joe made it seem to those around him like he was keeping up with his Tech schedule. He would leave like he was going to class and no one knows where he went off to. He kept up a facade."

"Allie called me on my cell phone and told me someone from Georgia Tech's housing office had called looking for Joe. She said they didn't have him on the list as staying in the dorms for the summer and they needed his stuff out of his room/' Debbie says. "She said, 'Mom, something's very wrong.'"


t was the beginning of a gut-wrenching journey that would only get worse. Debbie started by calling the housing office. Housing officers said they had awakened all of the students in the dorm at 8 a.m. to meet the deadline for clearing out of the residence hall for the summer. Dorm mates recall seeing Joe head for the showers at about 8:30 a.m., but no one remembers seeing him afterward. She called Hartsfield International Airport to have Joe paged. He didn't answer. She waited for the next flight, but again he wasn't listed on the passenger manifest. Debbie called Wayne, who had gone to work early at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati so he could be home when Joe arrived from the airport. She filled him in as she drove for home and he left work to meet her. "We called Georgia Tech housing again and asked if anyone had been in his room or if they had called the police," Debbie says. They hadn't, so the Morses did. Tech police sent an officer over to check the room and he called the Morses back. "He said it looked like everything was there. There was a damp towel on the floor and some dirty clothes. He found a checkbook, but not a wallet," Debbie says. The Morses wanted to file a missing person report, but the officer explained they had to wait 24 hours. The family was frustrated with comments from Tech police that Joe would turn up, that he had probably "gone home with someone or gone somewhere for the weekend." After a fitful few hours trying to sleep, Debbie and Wayne headed to the Greyhound station to see if Joe was on the overnight bus. He wasn't and Wayne drove Debbie to the airport for a flight to Atlanta. In Atlanta, Debbie headed straight for the Georgia Tech police station. She talked to the officer who had searched Joe's room, who called in Investigator Lenford Forbes. Dean of Students Gail DiSabatino was contacted at home. DiSabatino listened to the story and called Registrar Jo Mclver at home. Mclver came in to the office and together, she and DiSabatino called Joe's professors at home to check on his records. Several professors came to their offices to retrieve grade books so they could check Joe's grades immediately. 46

GEORGIA TECH â&#x20AC;˘ Summer 2001

"That's when we realized that he just didn't show up for classes after spring break," Debbie says. After their son Ben arrived to be with Allie, Wayne drove to Atlanta Sunday night to join Debbie. On Monday, the couple went to the housing office to get Joe's things, which had been stored in an attic closet to make room for incoming students. They sprawled the boxes and piles of their son's belongings on the sidewalk outside the dorm, searching through the jumbled mess for clues. "We didn't know what he'd taken or what he was wearing. It didn't look like anything was missing. There were three or four pairs of gym shoes, five pairs of jeans, four pairs of khakis, book bags, knapsacks. His luggage was there. It looked like he didn't take anything at all," she says. "His books and notebooks were there, his computer." Wayne and a Tech computer technician scoured the computer for clues, but all signs indicated that Joe had every intention of going home that day. At 6 a.m. Saturday, Joe had tried to access the AirTran Web site, but misspelled the name of the airline. He had visited the Greyhound Web site and sent the e-mails to his friends. "There was nothing out of the ordinary at all. The last thing he looked at was the Greyhound site," Debbie says. DiSabatino says students will often make plans without telling their parents or friends and cause them to worry, but, after speaking to the Morses, she felt Joe's case was different. "Joe's family was expecting him. All of the things he said were very specific. He seemed to have planned out what he was doing for the summer," DiSabatino says. "But he also made it seem to those around him like he was keeping up with his schedule. He would leave like he was going to class and no one knows where he went off to. He kept up a facade." DiSabatino says students sometimes lose their grip on the situation when they start running into academic trouble at Tech. The embarrassment over not doing well turns into a fear of telling their parents that they are failing. "They feel like their parents have always been proud of them and they work up these terrible scenarios in their heads about what would happen if they told their parents," DiSabatino says. "When we know a student is having trouble and we set up that meeting between parents and their student, it is hard and it is painful, but it is positive because the parents are generally very supportive of their child." In Joe's case, the warning signs of trouble were not obvious.

On Easter Sunday 2000, Joe (second from left) posed with his family: brother Ben, Debbie, Wayne and younger sister Allie.

"Joe's behavior seemed to fit the profile of someone who couldn't handle it. When I looked at his grades, I expected him to be flunking, but he was a good student. To just stop showing up didn't make sense. He was getting Cs and Bs at midterm, but maybe that wasn't good enough for him.


e was well-respected in the dorm, he had lots of interaction with other students, he was president of his dorm hall council, he was very active," DiSabatino says. "We've never had any situation go to this extreme. Sometimes when there is a problem with a student, the professors will go to their department head and then it will come to me, but this time that just didn't happen." That first horrible, numbing week, the Morses scoured the campus, putting up posters of Joe, talking to every student they saw and going everywhere they could think of in search of some trace of their son. Finally, on Wednesday, Debbie returned to Ohio to be with Allie, and Ben returned to school for final exams. Wayne stayed in Atlanta, going to places Joe had talked about going during the year, including Lenox Square Mall where the ATM camera had captured him taking the last of his money. Wayne is also a runner. Every morning at dawn and every evening at dusk, he would run along the routes his

son had talked about jogging, hoping to catch sight of his son's familiar gait. On Friday, Wayne flew home and Debbie returned to Atlanta, where she was met by her mother-in-law, who flew up from Florida to help in the search. Debbie stayed in Atlanta until May 16, the day summer classes began, in hopes that Joe would return for classes or that someone who knew him might see the posters and have some clue where he might have gone. When she returned to Ohio, Debbie took off a week from her job as a nurse at the Children's Hospital outpatient center, while Wayne tried to return to the office, often staying only a couple of hours a day. "I sat here and jumped every time the phone rang," she says. "I went back to work and my friend told me I didn't have to be there. I said, 'What else am I going to do?'" Meanwhile, Debbie's sister made two trips to Myrtle Beach, S.C., because it is just north of Garden City, a small town on the Atlantic coast where the family vacationed in the same house every year. She posted fliers and went into every storefront and showed Joe's photo. "The police said to think of places where he had positive memories and look there. The kids loved that place. They had talked about buying that house together and Joe, at one Summer 2001 â&#x20AC;˘ G E O R G I A T E C H


"She said, 'He's alive and you're going to hear from him. It's going to be a while, about a year. A dark-haired woman helped him and he's in South America.' Then she went on to someone else."

point, had gotten on a satellite Web site that can find any point in the world and e-mailed a satellite picture of the house to Allie," Debbie says. The Morses returned to Georgia Tech once more when fall, semester 2000 began, again posting fliers across campus, again questioning everyone they could about Joe. Tech police, along with police in Atlanta and Cincinnati, and the FBI have found no trace of Joe, whose description remains on the National Crime Information Center network. Although they can do little unless a person of Joe's description is reported by the NCIC, Tech police say the case is a daily concern.


"oe is never really far from our thoughts," says Georgia Tech chief of detectives Lt. Cecelya Taylor. "You remain hopeful and do what you have to do. Every one knows there are certain types of cases that remain open until you find the person and this is one of them. You investigate any leads you have and that is all you can do." Since the ATM withdrawal, there has been no activity on Joe's bank account, although the Morses have deposited more money in case he ever uses his bank card. There has been no activity on his e-mail and he has apparently not tried to use his Social Security number to get a job. "You just kind of go about your business and everything reminds you â&#x20AC;&#x201D; songs on the radio, television shows, movies. Sometimes you get really engrossed in a project and you get away from it a little, but you don't need something to remind you," Debbie says. "It's like you have a wound, open and raw, since then and it hasn't changed," Wayne says. "Every day you have that moment when you wonder where he is and if he's OK. It's the same feeling, non-stop." The story is being considered for an episode of "Unsolved Mysteries," and Debbie has already appeared on an episode of "The Montel Williams Show" that featured psychic Sylvia Browne. After seeing a show featuring the self-proclaimed psychic, Allie e-mailed the show relaying the family's story without her parents' knowledge. In January, show representatives called and told Debbie of the e-mail. They requested a packet of information, which Debbie sent. She was chosen to appear on the show and flew alone to New York City for the Feb. 14 taping. "I don't really believe in psychics, but it is something you are both afraid to do and afraid not to do," Debbie says. "But I knew they'd flash his picture up there and millions of people would see it." 48

GEORGIA TECH â&#x20AC;˘ Summer 2001

The day of the taping, Debbie met several other families of missing people. Debbie listened, on edge, as Browne told each person that their loved one was dead. Browne finally got to Debbie near the end of the taping. She listened as Browne described how depressed and despondent Joe had been. "Finally, she said, 'He's alive and you're going to hear from him. It's going to be a while, about a year. A darkhaired woman helped him and he's in South America.' Then she went on to someone else," Debbie says. She had to hold back tears when Browne said Joe was alive. "We always tell ourselves that in our hearts we believe he's alive, but in part that is because we want to believe it and we haven't seen anything to show us otherwise," she says. "Crises in people's lives affect relationships. You can let it get the best of you, or you can pull together and be strong," Debbie says, adding that she and Wayne support each other and rely on their abiding faith in God. "Early on, during that first week, Wayne went to church before he drove back to Atlanta. One of the readings was the story of Abraham and Isaac. When Wayne got to Atlanta, he said, 'After eight hours in the car, I realized that God is not asking us to sacrifice our son. He's just asking us to trust in him and to trust in each other and to trust Joe,'" Debbie says. "You have to keep reminding yourself, and each other, of that and hopefully you don't both have down days at the same time."


lthough they feel they understand what their son felt when he walked away from his life, Wayne and Debbie hope Joe realizes they miss him and want him home. Debbie still sends emails to Joe's account, hoping he will connect and receive her messages of love from cyberspace. "We want him to know nothing is as important to us as he is. He may think all kinds of things are a problem, but none of it is important," Debbie says. "We want him to feel comfortable to call home, that whatever situation he finds himself in, he can call or come home," Wayne says. "Every day on the way home, you think, 'Maybe tonight.'" "And every night when you go to bed," Debbie says, "you think, 'Maybe tomorrow.'" GT Anyone with information that could be helpful in finding Joe Morse is asked to contact the Georgia Tech Police Department at 404894-9966, or FBI Special Agent Neil Rabinovitz at 404-679-6237,

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Dreamcatche Richard Kessler develops hotels on a grand scale .*. • J W P ^ ^ ^ S S S ' • •"

By Kimberly Link-Wills

ichard Kessler is not an "if only" kind of man. He turns his dreams into reality — without fear of & i failure, without regret. Kessler, IE 69, MS IE 70, sits back and looks around a meeting room in his Celebration Hotel, opened in November 1999 in the Disney-built town of Celebration, Fla. Pouring himself a glass of imported water, Kessler describes himself and Walt Disney as kindred spirits. "1 had always admired Walt Disney and what he had done. 1 think he was one of those people who live for the experience and try to do something oi value. Making money wasn't his sole objective. I would have loved to have known him, to have worked with him. He and 1 would have gotten along famously, 1 think," Kessler says. "Celebration was a Disney dream.

He said a long time ago he wanted to build a town. I contacted the Disney people. 1 wanted to be part of a Disney dream." Then with only one hotel, the Doubletree Castle in Orlando, Kessler was a relatively small fish in the big Orlando pond. That didn't stop him from inviting the Disney town planners to lunch. They told him they liked his Castle, with its art and Renaissance theme, but they were looking for a big name, a company that could develop a hotel along the lines of the Mulberry Inn in Savannah. "I developed the Mulberry Inn in 1981 as an independent, boutique hotel when I was running Days Inn," Kessler told them. "The Disney people about dropped their forks. It was total silence at the table." Kessler got the project and the Disney production became one of

Kessler's three Grand Theme Hotels to open in 1999. In addition to the Celebration Hotel, Kessler reopened a 21story octagon-shaped Orlando hotel as the Sheraton Studio City, themed as a throwback to Hollywood's heyday, and unveiled the $17 million renovation of a St. Augustine landmark, the Casa Monica. The Celebration Hotel is meant to be an oasis in a land of frenetic activity, a place to let out a long sigh after a day at the theme parks, a land of ahhhs. It is billed as "delightfully charming." "When I walk into the lobby, I feel relaxed. I want to sit down and pick up a magazine or walk out on the terrace and sit in one of the rocking chairs and have a cold drink," Kessler says. "We have grand pianos in all our hotels," he continues, launching into the story of how he acquired a rare

Bosendorfer grand piano for his latest showplace, the Westin Grand Bohemian in downtown Orlando. Kessler had the Grand Bohemian concept plan laid out in his head two years ago when he learned of a piano en route to Orlando. The Bosendorfer is one of only two red and black pianos fitted with nine extra keys designed by Viennese architect Hans Hollein. With solid brass legs and an inlaid gold cover that opens and closes at the press of a button, the piano's worth was pegged at $250,000. Kessler declines to say how much he paid for the piano, but he will say he bought the Bosendorfer before it ever landed in Orlando. The piano is the focal point of the Grand Bohemian Hotel's Bosendorfer lounge, with its bar decorated in coordinating black marble and red stones and sofas and chairs in red velvet and black leather.

"This piano needed to be part of this concept. People needed to enjoy seeing such an instrument, hearing such an instrument. It is truly a remarkable thing," says Kessler, who was not the slightest bit nervous about sitting down at the piano and playing it during the hotel's grand opening celebration in late May. And Kessler does not flinch about putting such valuable pieces in his hotel lobbies, where toddlers with juice boxes may happen by. "We can't live our lives being afraid," he says. essler has never been afraid to go after what he wants. The A V-native of Rincon, Ga., did not grow up with a silver hotel key in his hand. But he did grow up with a determination to excel. As a high school junior, Kessler sat down with his guidance counselor.

"We talked about colleges for a few minutes. I said to him, 'What's the most difficult school in Georgia?' And he said, 'Academically, the toughest school in Georgia is Georgia Tech.' I said, 'Fine, that's where I want to go. I'll take on the most difficult.' "Georgia Tech was the hardest thing I've ever done. You get tough. You have to be to survive. But 1 never dropped a course. I never failed a course. I did make some Ds," he admits. "Georgia Tech really taught me tenacity. When 1 left Tech, I was very focused. I knew how to work. 1 had a lot of good conceptual ideas. 1 had developed a sense of how to build an organization. I had very clear mental images of what I wanted to do. "I had already decided at Georgia Tech that I was going to have my own business one day," says Kessler, who

"WJMMES received more than a dozen job offers before graduation. But he was looking for a small company, a mentor who could teach him the ins and outs of real estate development and finance. A family acquaintance, Cecil Day, IM 58, volunteered to be that teacher and invited Kessler to join the Atlantabased Days Inns of America, where the young man quickly moved up the corporate elevator. By 1972, Kessler was responsible for all Days Inn construction and development. "I was in Orlando and it was clear it was going to be a booming place. The following Monday I went to Cecil and I said, 'We must send someone to Orlando to set up an office. If we are going to be real estate developers, we need to be there.' And he looked at me and said, 'When do you want to go?'" In May 1972, Kessler opened the Day Realty of Orlando office. "Corporate Days Inn got in trouble in 1974," Kessler recalls. "It was about to go broke. Cecil was the major stockholder of corporate Days Inn. Then there was the Orlando company that Cecil and I owned together. "Things got worse. Cecil and I had a very special relationship. When he had a difficult thing to accomplish, he'd call me. In April 1975, we went riding through Florida for two days," Kessler says, explaining that it was not unusual for the two of them to take a road trip to "explore ideas together." "He told me he wanted me to return to Atlanta to run corporate Days Inn. He said, 'It will be your company to run. Within 18 months, I'll make you chairman of the board.'" Kessler was not eager to return to Atlanta. He enjoyed the challenges in Orlando, and he and his wife had just finished renovating their home. Yet, at age 29, Kessler agreed to Day's proposition and took over the reins of the debt-ridden company. 52

GEORGIA TECH â&#x20AC;˘ Summer 2001

HOTEV. "I don't live my life for money. Money is a byproduct, profit is a byproduct of what we do. It's not the driving, single force. I live life for experience."

"It was as bad as he said," Kessler says, noting that just two months later, Day negotiated to sell the hotel chain, but the deal fell apart when the prospective buyer backed out of paying $18 million for Days Inn of America. "We were losing $4 million a year. Franchisees were threatening to take down their signs, banks were calling in their loans. That's what I dealt with. We went to work. I rebuilt the team. I hired a new CFO. We focused on what we needed to do to improve the product and met with franchisees." Kessler laughs when he recounts the story of Day telling the accountants that he had promoted a "29-year-old Georgia Tech engineer to turn it around. They said, 'You must be crazy.'"


fter nine years in debt, Days Inn emerged with a net worth of $275 million and a $30 million per-year cash flow. "The company increased to $90 million in current value in 1983, the year before the sale," Kessler says. In 1984, six years after Day died of bone cancer, his family sold the company for $750 million. "I didn't think it was the right time to sell," Kessler says. "I didn't think it was best for the people in the company or for the company itself." After the first mortgage was paid

off, the net from the Days Inn of America sale was $275 million. As the second largest shareholder, Kessler walked away from the job with $50 million. Still in his 30s, Kessler could have retired and maintained a luxurious lifestyle. Instead, he put his fortune on the line. "I don't live my life for money. Money is a byproduct, profit is a byproduct of what we do. It's not the driving, single force. I live life for experience. Entrepreneurship is a way of life. That is my life. With entrepreneurship comes risk. I live for the adventures. I live for projects that I think truly make a difference, that still should have value 50 years from today, that hopefully won't be torn down."


he Kessler Enterprise was formed in Atlanta in 1985 and developed a 900-acre industrial park and a 500-acre residential and commercial project. And Kessler took some time off in 1989 and spent a year in Europe with his family, but he says that wasn't temporary retirement, just "research." "Failure is not acceptable to me," Kessler says. "I have had a couple of temporary setbacks in my life. In 1990, I started a chain of banks. We started 10 banks around the United States, which was a feat in itself. All of a sudden, banks that had been in business hundreds of years were going broke. New banks were going broke around us. There were failures in the banking For the Grand Bohemian hotel in Orlando, Kessler bought a rare Bosendorfer red and black piano fitted with nine extra keys designed by Viennese architect Hans Hollein. With solid brass legs and an inlaid gold cover that opens and closes at the press of a button, the piano's worth was pegged at $250,000.

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industry that had not been seen since the '30s. 1 was in an industry I couldn't control. That was tough. You were working like heck just to maintain, just to minimize your losses. "That's part of being an entrepreneur. You have to be able to work both sides and not panic. We came through it. We never lost a bank. We struggled on two or three of them, but there are others that we made a lot of money on. The whole banking experience was a trade-off." Kessler sold the banks and a bank management company he launched, pocketed a profit and moved on. "The banks were eating at too much of my time and that's not what 1 enjoyed. I learned something about myself. I learned that creativity must be a significant part of my life's work for me to enjoy it." The biggest cost of the banking experience was time, Kessler says. "It cost me about four or five years. I've always said we have more money than we have time."


n 1994, Kessler returned to Orlando. He wasted no time going back into the hotel industry. "Hotels enable me to do a variety of things. They allow me to create very interesting projects and 1 can get paid for them. People will pay a premium to experience what we labor to create." Kessler's Grand Theme Hotels stand apart from the big names in the business. Many hotel chains are recognizable by their signs, building shapes and sizes, rectangular pools, standard rooms and continental breakfasts. Each of Kessler's hotels is unique in look and feel, from the Southern charm of the Celebration, to the glitz of the Sheraton Studio City, the magic of the Doubletree Castle, the history of the 113-year-old Casa Monica and the jawdropping art collection in the Westin 54

GEORGIA TECH â&#x20AC;˘ Summer 2001

learned that people do look for value. I learned that and more from the Days Inn experience."

"I learned that the timing at which you do things is very important. You have to try to anticipate the economy. I learned that people do look for value." Grand Bohemian. "Not many people in the industry are doing this. We are very exceptional. We are a quarter of a percent of the market," Kessler says, counting about 600 employees throughout his enterprise. "We work very hard on building a can-do team, a 'nothing's impossible' attitude." The Celebration alone cost "millions" to build, but Kessler says he has learned how to get his money's worth, how to develop hotels efficiently. He also has final approval on everything inside and outside his properties. "From my father 1 learned that quality is important and, if you commit to doing something, do it right the first time. I also learned how to work hard. My father was a plumbing contractor who then got into construction in Rincon, Ga., and later went to work for Days Inn to oversee major renovations at Days Inns throughout the United States. My father knew construction. He knew how to do things right. That was his strength, "Cecil's strengths were that he was a good marketer, he had good credibility with his local banks and he was fast. He spotted the Days Inn market and moved quickly on it," Kessler says. "I learned finance from Cecil. I learned that the timing at which you do things is very important. You have to try to anticipate the economy. I


hrough his Grand Theme Hotels, Kessler has been able to put his natural creative skills to use. "I may be walking down the street and all of a sudden get a mental picture of a new idea. It will just come to me. It's like seeing something in color and in three dimensions. I see years of work in one quick picture. Right then I'll write several pages and capture all the details. I have a couple of them on the shelf right now, new projects we plan to do outside Florida. "I want to do a very high-end boutique hotel in the Southeast, a real community place, with a banquet facility, a four-and-a-half-star hotel with a large food operation in Savannah's historic district," Kessler says, announcing that this project will include something new for Grand Theme Hotels and Savannah: a spa. This dream already is on paper. Kessler is looking at a 19th-century, 8,500-square-foot mansion that since 1953 has been the home of Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors on Drayton Street in Savannah. "As we're completing a project, we're starting another," Kessler says. Also in the works is a "major rebuild" of an Orlando hotel he purchased, the Universal Inn. Kessler plans to bring the Universal Inn up to a three-star standard and make it a Santa Fe-style facility. Later this year his company will set to work on a Broad waythemed Embassy Suites near the Sheraton Studio City and Universal Studios in Orlando. As he rattled off these plans, the finishing touches were still being put on the Westin Grand Bohemian. "I wanted to be the No. 1 hotel downtown. I'd rather be the rate leader, the

Kessler's Grand Hotels Dominick Cannatella


heck in at a Grand Theme Hotel and check out the world of Richard C. Kessler, who has amassed all of his hotels in less than 10 years. The Kessler Enterprise owns the 216-room Doubletree Castle Hotel, the 302-room Sheraton Studio City Hotel, the 161-room Universal Inn and the 250-room Westin Grand Bohemian Hotel, all in Orlando, the 115-room Celebration Hotel in Celebration, Fla., and the 138-room Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine, Fla. Kessler also owns the 106-room Hampton Inn Savannah North that is not part of the Grand Theme portfolio. The one Grand Theme Hotel he does not own is the Sheraton Safari in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., a 500-room former Days Inn that he bought, redesigned, themed and sold. The Doubletree Castle Hotel — "There is not another castle like it in the world!" boasts the slogan. Opened in 1995, the nine-story Castle, with an art and Renaissance theme, features a "grand" swimming pool with a large Italian bronze fountain and hot tub, the Sun Room housing Kessler's trademark grand piano, Vito's Chop House and Cafe Tu Tu Tango, the Galaxy game room and a gift shop. Sheraton Studio City — The 21 story octagon-shaped hotel is designed to whisk guests back to the Hollywood of the 1940s and '50s. Brochures highlight Oscar's Lounge and its nightly champagne celebration and the Scene One patio bar. The building opened in 1974 as a Quality Inn. Kessler purchased it in 1997 as the Universal Tower. After a $17 million renovation and redesign, it reopened as the Sheraton Studio City in 1999. The Celebration Hotel Kessler's boutique hotel is trumpeted as a four-star, 115-room architectural

Kessler's Westin Grand Bohemian in Orlando features expensive pieces of rare art.

focal point in the town of Celebration, Disney's recreation of small-town America, sort of Mayberry meets "The Truman Show." The pace is slow, from the lazily turning bamboo ceiling fan in the lobby to the stone turtles trickling water into the swimming pool to the modes of transportation. Most guests stroll to neighboring shops and restaurants. For a bit faster trip, the Celebration rents NEVs (Neighborhood Electric Vehicles). Both the town and the hotel mix today with yesterday. The NEVs are parked outside the Celebration next to Kessler's two antique Cadillacs. Naturally, the Celebration includes a grand piano near the bar. Behind the bar is a painting Kessler commissioned. Somewhere in the painting, an Osceola Indian peeks out of the foliage. Kessler encourages guests to look for the Indian while they enjoy the tranquility of the hotel. Casa Monica — In December 1999, Kessler reopened the 113-yearold hotel after a two-year, $17 million restoration. When it opened in 1888, rooms went for $3 a night, Now they start at $140. Shuttered during the

Depression, the magnificent building stood empty for 30 years before it was turned into the county courthouse. Kessler bought the building in 1997 to return it to its original glory — or better. Kessler always adds unique — and expensive — touches. The light fixtures in the Casa Monica dining room, ballroom and lobby, for instance, are custom made from handblown glass and brass from Syria. The Westin Grand Bohemian — Kessler is renowned for his attention to detail and the Westin Grand Bohemian, which opened in April, is no exception — just exceptional, according to its owner. The details go right down to the Heavenly Bed — a custom-designed mattress set, three sheets, five pillows and a down blanket and comforter. Guests are greeted by a 7-foot-tall bronze, "Black Monument Horse," by artist Jiang Tiefeng. The Bohemian displays more than 100 pieces of rare artwork, a collection valued at more than $1 million. It also is home to two Bosendorfer pianos. One is the Imperial Grand Bosendorfer. There are only two in the world.

Summer 2001 • G E O R G I A T E C H


one and only luxury product in downtown Orlando. I believe the Grand Bohemian is so strong that we could take it to every major city. It's built around art and music," from the Bose CD players in the Club-level guest rooms to the art gallery with pieces from Kessler's private collection. This small-town boy says he has "always had a passion for art. I have a little museum in my hunting lodge. I asked [Atlanta artist Richard HillJ to do an outdoor sculpture. He created these big, 10- to 20-foot steel sculptures and I have seven of them on the grounds of my hunting lodge in Mount Pleasant. I wanted to create these 2,000 acres as an art place, something you would never expect." On the terrace of the Celebration stands a 12-foot-tall, 2-ton statue of a Native American created by a Colorado dentist turned artist. "I bought this and didn't even know where 1 was going to put it," says Kessler, an avid collector who buys "a lot" of art and stores it until he finds the perfect sites for display. The Kessler Reformation Collection is displayed at Emory University in Atlanta. Purported to be the third largest collection of Reformation works, the 2,500 pieces include an early Protestant hymnal, one of only two known in the world.

"Enjoy life as you go. I've lived through some tough periods. But you can't dwell on that. You have to keep moving. You can't sit down and worry about it." Tech alum. He donated the Kessler Campanile, also designed by artist Richard Hill, for the Tech Plaza in 1996 in preparation for the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, where the Institute campus served as "Home of the Olympic Village."


essler remains firmly rooted in his Lutheran faith and professes that, as a teen-ager, he briefly considered going into the ministry. Last summer, Kessler was elected chairman of Lutheran Brotherhood, a Minneapolis-based, $29 billion Fortune 500 company that gives away about $85 million a year. Kessler also is chairman of the Ebenezer Retreat Center, an organization he has been involved with for 26 years. And he is a devoted Georgia 56

GEORGIA TECH â&#x20AC;˘ Summer 2001

One of Kessler's Grand Theme properties is the Sheraton Studio City, a 21-story octagon-shaped Orlando hotel themed as a throwback to Hollywood's heyday.

"I have my life on two or three different tracks. One track is the business track. Another track is the giving track. I feel as much passion about that as I do the Grand Bohemian hotel," says Kessler, named the Florida Ernst & Young Master Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000. Kessler also is passionate about living life without regret. "Enjoy it as you go," he says. "I've lived through some tough periods that have made life difficult from time to time. But you can't dwell on that. You have to keep moving. You can't ever stop. You can't sit down and worry about it. "When I was a kid, there was a grocery store called Hank Fisher's Service Station. It was a general merchandise store. It was probably built back in the '20s. It looked like one of the typical movie-type stores, with a couple of hound dogs laying out front, four or five people sitting on a bench out front wearing straw hats, vegetables inside and crates of vegetables outside. It was diagonally across the street from where I lived. "I would go over and hear people talking. They'd say, 'Oh, if I'd only done so-and-so. If I'd only bought that piece of land. If I'd only done this, if I'd only done that.' It made me realize I was not going to live my life that way. I was not going to say later, 'if only.' "It's very disheartening to admit to yourself, T haven't really done what I should have done in my life.' I was not going to look backward. I was going to spend my life looking forward," Kessler says. "Everyone has some fear of failure. To say you don't is not true. But I never let that control my decisions. It's the fear of failure that also drives one to succeed in the most difficult times. Fear of failure drives people to do the impossible." GT

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2001 HOME SCHEDULE: Sept. 1 The Citadel *Clemson Sept. 29 Oct. ]] M a r y l a n d (Thursday, ESPN) Oct. 20 N . C . S t a t e (Homecoming) Nov. 1 N o r t h Carolina (Thursday, * Georgia Nov. 24


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Hottest Designer Retro cruiser puts Nesbitt on the fast track

Bryan Nesbitt's work on the PT Cruiser steered his career toward the Chevrolet design studio.

By Neil B. McGahee


ryan Nesbitt's work on the design of the popular DaimlerChrysler PT Cruiser has put him in the driver's seat at the design studio of General Motors' Chevrolet division. Nesbitt, Cls 92, joined GM May 9, where he is in charge of rejuvenating styling at Chevrolet. While Chevy's

latest concept vehicles have been generally well received, its recent production car designs have barely made a ripple in automotive circles. Nesbitt reports to Anne Asensio, who was the third-ranking designer at French automaker Renault when GM lured her last year to direct the design of GM's domestic brands. Nesbitt, 31, joins a group of "brand character chief designers"

who lead the styling direction of each GM division. None is older than 36. "Bryan is the hottest designer in the United States right now," GM spokesman Scott Fosgard says. "If we were putting together the '27 New York Yankees, getting Bryan is like acquiring the cleanup hitter for Murderers Row." Nesbitt says he has wanted to be an automobile designer since he was

Summer 2001 â&#x20AC;˘ GEORGIA TECH


Gary Meek

a child in Phoenix. His father recognized his talents at age 12 and took him to the campus of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. After graduating from high school, Nesbitt studied architecture and industrial design at Georgia Tech in 1988-89, but he returned to the Art Center College and graduated in 1993 with a bachelor's in industrial design. After serving an internship at Daimler-Chrysler's Pacifica Advanced Product Design Center in Carlsbad, Calif., he was hired by Chrysler in 1994. "What I really liked at Georgia Tech was the emphasis on academics," Nesbitt says. "The Art Center was more of a trade school in the sense that it was very curriculum specific for particular careers. Tech gave me a broader understanding of the university system and how it can develop you academically and socially. I took a lot of architecture classes and that was a great foundation. The history of architecture is so profound and mechanical inventions like the automobile have such a short history by comparison. Tech's architecture program was a big influence on me. When Nesbitt unveiled his first prototype car at the 1997 Frankfurt Auto Show, the PT Cruiser was already on his mind. "That was a third-world vehicle called the Chrysler Composite Concept Vehicle," he explains. "It was a tall, four-door hatchback and that was the first real inkling of the PT Cruiser." Nesbitt — then a 27-year-old untested designer — began working on the popular retro


G E O R G I A T E C H • Summer 2001

cruiser shortly after the Frankfurt show. Just as the original Volkswagen Beetle did a generation ago, the PT Cruiser turned design heads. Nesbitt thought people would like the car, but even he was astounded when people began paying more than list price or camping on waiting lists for the opportunity to own one. One enthusiast even started an Internet-based fan club before the car hit the lots. As the popularity of the cruiser increased, so did Nesbitt's stock in the world of automotive design and on April 23, General Motors hired him to head styling for the Chevrolet division. Nesbitt is grateful to Daimler-Chrysler for the opportunities it afforded him to flex his design muscles. "I have a lot of equity with Chrysler," he says. "I was very happy where I was but this is an opportunity to work for one of the biggest brands in the world. I'll be in the advanced studio, which is trying to define what the brand is really aspiring to be. My job will be to visually define that aspiration. "You know, Chevrolet used to be the best brand in the world back in 1978 when they were selling a million Caprices a year. Now, that has been swallowed up by the Japanese and all the loyalty has shifted away from the domestics. Those present huge opportunities and that's what I'm excited about." GM design chief Wayne Cherry says GM would love to score a hit on the scale of the PT Cruiser. "Obviously, a vehicle that generates a lot of excitement in the marketplace would be very welcome."

Harold Reheis balances the need for economic growth with his environmental mantra: Clean" water. Clean air. Healthy life. Productive land.


River BaslfW of Georgia

Practical Solutions Haro/fi M d s holds Georgia's economic future in his hands By Karen Hill

the box labeled "sludge" and shoved in a far corner is nearly empty.) n the one hand, you could Not visible, but sitting squarely on insist on a pristine state, his desk, is every problem in the where there are few pollutants state that is connected to the environand few people. On the other hand, ment, including: you could welcome economic growth, • Parceling out water in a fourwhere this is more of everything — year drought; including people and pollution. • Scrubbing metro Atlanta's polHarold Reheis is an engineer, not a luted air and water, while convincing philosopher. But balancing concerns smaller, but growing metro areas like for a healthy environment and conAugusta, Columbus and Macon not to cerns for healthy economic growth is repeat Atlanta's mistakes; the dilemma he faces every day as • Wrangling with Alabama and head of Georgia's Environmental ProFlorida over who gets to take how tection Division. much out of the rivers that flow through all three states; During 10 years on the job, he's learned to find the alternatives that • Cleaning up leaking underseem to best fit his eight-word mantra: ground gas tanks and other hazardous Clean water. Clean air. Healthy life. waste sites; Productive land. • Barricading salt water out of the "I want people to have as low a aquifer serving 24 southeast Georgia health risk from the environment as is counties; and practical," the 56-year-old Reheis says, • Even cleaning up after Union summarizing the high stakes and Gen. William Sherman, who burned a cross-currents of his position, which foundry and contaminated with lead spans a three-decade career in state the land that now holds an Atlanta government. public-housing project. (It's nearly done after six years of work, Reheis For the work he's done balancing says. He's just not sure how to bill the environmental, business and governArmy of the Potomac.) ment interests in one of the nation's fastest-growing states, Reheis, CE 69, Still, Reheis says, Georgia is a clean recently was named Georgian of the state, with overall good water and Year by Georgia Trend magazine. "More air quality. His biggest challenge is than any public official other than the keeping it that way. governor, he holds our economic "From 1990 to 2000, there were only future squarely in his hands," the three states in America that added magazine says. more people than Georgia — CaliforThere's little evidence of that power nia, Texas and Florida — and they're all a lot bigger than we are," Reheis in his office across the street from the says, citing numbers from the 2000 state Capitol, halfway up an office U.S. Census. "We added 1.2 million tower with a view of a tangle of interpeople just in the 20-county Atlanta state highways. It's sparely furnished, metropolitan statistical area. Fortya bookcase stuffed with thick tomes four states didn't grow that much. dominating the decor. The in and out boxes, impishly, are labeled "influent" "How do we manage our natural and "effluent." (Tellingly, for someone resources so that we can preserve them described by friends as a workaholic, for future generations? Keep air and


Summer 2001 • G E O R G I A T E C H


water high-quality, yet prosper?" According to the 2000 U.S. Census, Georgia grew to 8.2 million residents from 6.5 million in 1990, and is now the nation's lOth-largest state. Population in the 20-county metro Atlanta area grew to 4.1 million from just under 3 million. "Growth" is not a synonym for "bad," Reheis says. "One of the things that growth has done is that for the first time in Georgia history, per-capita annual income is about at the national average. This is unprecedented prosperity." According to the 2000 Census, annual per-capita personal income nationwide is $29,676; in Georgia, it's

$27,940, or 6 percent below the nationwide figure. In 1990, per-capita personal income nationwide was $19,584; in Georgia, it was $17,738, or 10 percent below the nationwide figure. One needs to look back just a few decades to appreciate those leaps. In 1960, just one year after the 15-yearold Reheis and his family moved to Georgia, the state's annual per-capita personal income was $1,698, well below the nationwide $2,276. Reheis, a native of Kansas, moved with his Air Force family around the nation before landing in Warner Robbins, home of Robbins Air Force Base. From there, he chose to attend Georgia

Tech simply because he liked science. He chose civil engineering because he could work a co-op job in that field, moving straight from school to state government. Except for two years with a private engineering firm in the early 1980s, he's stayed. After all, Georgia government provides a front-and-center seat to one of the hottest shows in the nation â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and it's nowhere near the final curtain. "As we look to the future, we need to remember that natural resources are finite and people aren't," Reheis says. "Metro Atlanta doubled its population in the last 40 years; we could easily double this growth in the next 40."

Buckling Down Bob Childs' venture as a hippie belt maker took an upscale turn By Neil B. McGahee


iger Woods wears them. David Duval, Reggie Jackson and Deion Sanders do too. George "Dubya" recently had one sent to the White House. Alligator belts designed and manufactured by Bob Childs, IM 77 and owner of Flemings of Buckhead, are being seen wrapped around some of the most famous torsos in the nation. Childs, 49, is shoehorned into his cramped office, surrounded by whole hides of the toothy reptiles just shipped from France. Shoving aside his lunch of takeout beans and rice from the Cuban place next door, he scrawls notes as a business-


G E O R G I A T E C H â&#x20AC;˘ Summer 2001

man orders alligator-bound day planners for his staff. Around the corner is the antithesis of the office's confined clutter. The elegant chrome, leather and wood showroom is filled with expensive alligator belts, wallets, briefcases and luggage, shining under the warm glow of golden lights, enticing well-heeled shoppers to make impulse buys. Childs is a study in contradictions. He's a self-proclaimed "country boy," but he thrives in the city. He grew up in Macon, Ga., the son of a dentist, but working on other folks' teeth never appealed to him â&#x20AC;&#x201D; something about bad breath. He wanted to be a marine biologist, so he chose to attend Georgia

Tech. Failing to find a marine biology program, he opted for the industrial management major. "I wasn't the best student to ever come to Tech," Childs concedes. "I mainly came so I could live in Atlanta. I had no self-discipline. I flunked out my freshman year and had to

go back home. I was paying my own way, so I created an extended do-your-own co-op program and got down to work. It took six years to finish, but I had several 'businesses' and school became secondary to feeding myself." When not waiting tables or working as a gofer at the state Capitol, Childs dreamed of making beautiful things with his hands, especially hand-tooled leather. "I think I might have been better suited going to a liberal arts college," he says. "A strong side of me was a creative, artistic side as opposed to a structured engineering side. What I really wanted to do was just be a

Pacesetters Curtis Compton

Bob Childs has belted celebrities across the country â&#x20AC;&#x201D; even the president is wearing a belt by Flemings of Buckhead.

hippie belt maker. 1 would make my leather art and sell it. I had no idea it would become a business. Now I'm having to do all the things they taught us at Georgia Tech as far as running a business." Childs bought some cowhide and set up his first "factory" in the boathouse at his family's pond in rural Lamar County. "Around 1979, the government took the alligator off the endangered species list," he says, "and allowed the commercial use of raw materials. I began doing contract work for some designers and, in 1981,1 moved the shop from the boathouse to Peachtree Street and later built a fac-

tory on Collier Road. "The business started with belts, then we started manufacturing wallets and accessories, and now we sell high-end ladies handbags and luggage. We're still best known for our belts." Childs takes a great deal of pride in those belts, which cost between $245 and $295. "We're recognized as the best belt maker in the world," he says. "I feel like craftsmanship is dying in America. All the craftspeople I hire have patience and take tremendous pride in their work. All 1 do is provide the best materials available and good fundamental designs. We don't

take shortcuts because it sacrifices quality. In fact, we use tools made in Germany back in the 1920s because the faster, newer and fancier tools have something missing. Other people have tried to copy Flemings but they don't go the extra mile like we do. You can't mass produce this product." Childs realized his belts required quality buckles, so he hired the best silversmiths he could find to create buckles for casual and dress occasions. Country music performers first noticed Childs' belts. He had opened a store in Nashville and some of country music's stars became regular customers. In Atlanta, famed professional

golf "swing doctor" Butch Harmon discovered them and soon PGA pros like Woods, Duval, Mark Calcaveccia and Darren Clark were seen wearing them. Just before his inauguration, President George W. Bush's people called in an order. Childs would like eventually to expand Flemings to some of the larger American cities and Europe, but not at the expense of quality. "I would rather keep developing whatever it is that makes us unique," he says. "The thing I gained from Tech, besides lifelong friends, is that I learned there are no shortcuts â&#x20AC;&#x201D; at some point you have to buckle down and do the work."

Summer 2001 â&#x20AC;˘ G E O R G I A T E C H


itters Neil B. McGahee

Policy-Maker Guynn's e-mail mirrors the stock market's ups and downs By Maria M. Lameiras


hen the economy took a turn for the worse late last year, so did Jack Guynn's email. "The economy's been so great over the past few years that we here at the Fed have been kind of like heroes," says Guynn, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. "I'd get a lot of e-mail and letters saying, 'You're doing a great job.' There has been a certain aura about the wonderful performance of the Fed that I was a part of. "Clearly it has been more difficult over the past months. My fan mail has turned almost to hate mail. In terms of language, it gets pretty rough. Some investors have been hurt very badly in the last several months, so there are a number of people who feel the Fed should do something immediately to fix their problems." But, Guynn says, the policy set by the Federal Reserve isn't a magic potion to cure the economy's ills. "The Fed can't target the stock market. We can't cause the stock market to settle in at a level that does not make good economic sense. All we can do is try to keep the broad economy as strong as possible, as healthy as possible, so good companies can sell their products and make money


G E O R G I A T E C H â&#x20AC;˘ Summer 2001

and, therefore, their stocks can become valuable," Guynn says. "The actual power the Federal Reserve Bank has over the health of the economy or the robustness of the stock exchange is very indirect. With our interest rate policy, we can create the financial environment, hopefully, that can help the economy during a period like this. The other thing we can do is try to keep inflation low." Guynn, who earned a bachelor's of industrial engineering at Virginia Tech in 1964 and a master's in industrial management at Georgia Tech in 1970, is an engineer in a world of economists. He spent the past 37 years performing a bevy of duties at the Fed, primarily in Atlanta and New Orleans, with a stint helping establish the bank's Miami branch. One of 19 members on the Federal Open Market Committee that includes Federal Reserve Chief Alan Greenspan, Guynn is part analyst, part investigator and part soothsayer in helping set economic policy that will take months to show effect. "We are always making policy for a period that is out in front of us â&#x20AC;&#x201D; we're looking at data that came from what's behind us and we're looking at stories that people told us about what happened last week or last month, and we're trying to

Atlanta Fed chief Jack Guynn helps engineer the U.S. economy.

extrapolate that backwardlooking data and trying to get some sense of where we're likely to be six months out in front of us," Guynn says. "Two-thirds of my life is spent on policy-making. I spend most of my time working with economists trying to understand the economy and out in the community in the six-state region meeting with people, talking to business people, seeing what's going on. "Every six to eight weeks we all get together to compare notes on what we've seen, what we're thinking, what we're hearing, and at the end of all that discussion we come to a decision on what we should do with policy." However, the lag between policy-making and its

impact on the economy can take months. "It's not as if we have an on/off switch," Guynn says. "When the economy was growing so fast that it looked likely to generate inflation, we could slow things down a little bit by raising the rate, but it takes months for those kinds of things to work their way through the economy. The precision with which our actions affect the economy is somewhat overstated." After 10 years of economic growth, the swiftness of the downturn caught many, including some at the Federal Reserve Bank, by surprise. "In the middle of last year the economy was still going gangbusters. It is only in hindsight that we look back and put all the pieces

together and try to figure out what caused this to come unraveled," Guynn says. "There were a couple of things that contributed. First of all, people got overextended. During that boom, they were buying everything in sight and they were spending every penny, and sometimes more, of their income. They looked at their stocks and the values of their houses and said, 'What the heck, I don't need to save.' "Businesspeople were spending like crazy too, they were investing in new facilities, new computers, all kinds of fancy equipment in their companies, and they had to digest all of that investment spending." During the economic boom, the price of oil went down to $11 a barrel, artificially lowering the price of gasoline and natural gas used for utilities. Consumers became accustomed to lower energy bills. When the price of oil shot back up to $34 per barrel, the strain of higher energy bills on household budgets increased. Consumers and businesspeople stopped spending and the economy slowed rapidly and dramatically. When the economy turned sour, many people turned to the Federal Reserve Bank for relief, Guynn says. "As things slowed, we began to ease monetary policy, lowering interest rates, and we've really eased them very aggressively since the first of the

year to try to quickly cushion that contraction that's been taking place," Guynn says. "This is a great example of how hard it is to see these major changes taking place in the economy. You hear stories from people and then you start hearing enough stories to see that something is going on, but it's sometimes several months before you see the data." One of only a handful of Federal Open Market Committee members who is not a PhD economist, Guynn prides himself on being able to communicate complicated economic situations and policy decisions in a way ordinary people can understand. "I can talk about some of the things that we do and some of the policy-making things that go on here in a language that, perhaps, would not be the same language a PhD economist would use, and help others in the general public who are not economists better understand what we're doing, why we're doing it and how it all works," he says. Guynn's desire to teach people how the Federal Reserve works comes from an appreciation for education he inherited from his parents, both of whom taught for many years in Staunton, Va., a town of 20,000 at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Guynn left Virginia for a job as a methods analyst with the Federal Reserve in Atlanta right after graduating from Virginia Tech.

"I graduated from college one week, got married the next and came to work at the Fed the next. It was my first experience in the big city," Guynn says. He and his wife, Becky, have three children: daughter Robin, a teacher in Ohio; son Michael, a real estate developer in Dunwoody; and daughter Shawn, who also taught and lives in Cartersville. During his years with the Federal Reserve, Guynn has moved a half-dozen times, including ping-ponging from Atlanta to New Orleans three times in six years from 1964 to 1970. All

When the economy turned sour, many people turned to the Federal Reserve Bank for relief the while, he was taking classes at Georgia Tech toward his master's degree in industrial management. "I was almost finished with my master's at Tech and I was transferred to New Orleans without finishing my degree. Tech was nice enough to allow me to take two courses at Tulane University and transfer the credits back and the bank was nice enough to fly me back once a week for the final capstone course at

Tech that they wouldn't let me do anywhere else," Guynn says, adding that he would attend a class at Tulane in the morning, then fly to Atlanta to take the three-hour class at Tech the same night, then fly back to New Orleans. When he started at the Federal Reserve, the Atlanta headquarters had just moved into its building on Marietta Street. This summer, Guynn will oversee the bank's move into a massive new 746,000square-foot, state-of-the-art building located on eight acres at Peachtree and 10th streets. The grounds will have three acres of green space, including a park, a money museum off the main lobby and glasswalled observation areas where visitors will be able to watch automated operations and get a peek at the vaults. Guynn, who has spent the past several years giving significant input into the design of the imposing, marble-faced structure, is most excited about the increased public accessibility. "This is the first time ever that we tried to figure out ways to make it possible for the general public to come into the building and learn a little about how the Federal Reserve does its work," he says. "There has always been a sense that there's something secretive about what we do. This is going to be a chance for people who normally wouldn't come inside to get a taste of what we do."

Summer 2001 â&#x20AC;˘ GEORGIA TECH


(tiers Ken Osburn

Unique Culture Alan Nager's company has casual dress, spiffy profits By Neil B. McGahee


tarting a business like this was very similar to my Georgia Tech experience," says Alan Nager, who co-founded Operations Associates, a Greenville, S.C., firm named one of the 500 fastest-growing companies in the country by Inc. magazine. "You have to stick to it day in and day out," Nager says. "It would be easy to quit, but you have to stay with it and keep focused on the goal, which at Tech was to graduate." The Inc. 500 ranking of independent and privately held companies is based on the percentage increase in sales from 1995 through 1999. Nager, IE 82, joined Texas Instruments after graduation, then worked for CRS Sirrine, a Greenville architectural firm until 1993, when he and three partners founded Operations Associates. In 1999, the company, which now has more than 40 employees, moved from being primarily an industrial consulting and engineering firm to include business and financial consulting. It expanded information technology and telecommunication services and planning. "My industrial engineering side really helped because my company is very diverse," Nager says. "We consider ourselves business integrators because we pull together facilities, people, processes, information and technology to make a business operate better. It provides a good foundation for seeing the big picture." In 2000, Operations Associates became the first national consulting firm to use Bentley ProjectBank DGN, a remote storage and design capabil-


GEORGIA TECH . Summer 2001

Alan Nager's consulting firm has learned that a flexible environment aids success.

ity system that connects client and consultant in Web-based collaboration no matter where they are located geographically. "We have a very unique culture," he says. "We hire very senior people who have industry experience, usually 20 years or more. They spend most of their time at either a client site or at their home offices. ProjectBank allows us to have a central drawing so that people can work from anywhere and work on the same drawing from different places." The office design of Operations Associates reflects that unique culture. The large concrete block building has few interior walls. Brushedchrome ducts conceal wiring and pipes. Work spaces and pods have replaced conventional desks and computer stations. "We're a project-centric company," Nager says. "We put teams together for specific projects according to their strengths. You may be

working with one group on a particular project this week and another team next week. Work spaces are put together to accommodate the needs of each team. Every board, every table in here can be moved to fit the needs of the team. "We have always been on the cutting edge of things. When we started, we used home offices and a concept of professional freedom, which a lot of companies are using now. We've been business casual from the start. We've had open books and employee ownership from the start. This was in our original business model and it has never changed." Nager says the company is on solid ground. "When we made the Inc. 500 list, it said we had grown over 500 percent in less than five years," he says. "We will continue to grow at probably a 30-to-40 percent clip per year. We planned the company for rapid growth." GT

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SURE Success Gary May uses his influence to help others By Maria M. Lameiras


ine years ago, Gary May launched a program at Georgia Tech to encourage minority students to pursue graduate degrees. It has become one of the largest programs of its kind in the country. May, EE 85, got his idea for Tech's program from the University of California at Berkeley, where he earned his master's and doctoral degrees in electrical engi-

neering and computer science. Berkeley's program, called SUPERB — which May helped develop — exposes undergraduate students to research. May realized it was "the best way" to get students interested in graduate school. After joining Tech's faculty in 1991, May wrote a proposal to start SURE, the Summer Undergraduate Research Engineering/Science Program. "The graduation rates of minority stu-

The May File Born: May 17, 1964, in St. Louis. Education: Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1985. Master's and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1987 and 1991, respectively. Personal: Wife, Leshelle; two daughters, Simone, 6, and Jordan, 4. Achievements: Motorola Foundation Professorship, 2001; selected by the National Academy of Engineering to participate in the "Frontiers of Engineering" Conference as one of the "top engineers between the ages of 30 and 45," 2000; Georgia Tech Outstanding Service Award, 1999; Outstanding Paper Award, IEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing, 1998; senior member, IEEE, 1997 to present; senior member, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 1996 to present; Georgia Tech Packaging Research Center Faculty of the Year for Education, 1996; National Science Foundation National Young Investigator, 1993 to 1998; Georgia Tech Outstanding Young Alumnus, 1993; NSF Graduate Fellow, 1986 to 1989; AT&T Bell Labs Cooperative Research Fellow, 1986 to 1991. Leisure Interests: Reading science fiction, playing tennis.


G E O R G I A T E C H • Summer 2001

dents at the master's and PhD levels and the numbers of students in engineering and science is abysmally low compared to the size of the population," May says. "There are a lot of talented young people out there. It is a fertile field waiting to be harvested." The 10-week summer program started for 10 students in 1992 with funds from the National Science Foundation. Students are paired with a faculty member and a graduate student mentor to perform research projects in the colleges of Engineering and Sciences and the Packaging Research Center. The students also participate in a series of seminars and field trips. The program has grown to 25 students from all over the United States, with funding from the NSF and corporate sources including IBM and the GE Foundation. This year the participants were chosen from an applicant pool of about 110. May says that 90 percent of the students go to graduate school and nearly half of them attend Georgia Tech. "Ten weeks is not a lot of time, but they can finish in a finite window and still get something meaningful accomplished. They write programs, work in labs, and some of the students have written papers based on their summer work. Many students continue the research they started in the

summer program during their graduate research," May says. One of the students to go through the first program, Joe Harralson, received the 2000 Outstanding Thesis Award for his doctoral thesis at Tech. He graduated in May 2000 with his doctorate in electrical engineering. "This program has been proven to have an impact," May says. The SURE program inspired another NSF program, FACES (Facilitating Academic Careers in Engineering and Science), which was established in 1999 and aims to increase the number of African-American students receiving doctoral degrees in engineering and science and entering university teaching. The collaborative effort among Tech and Morehouse and Spelman colleges supports qualified candidates through graduate school at one of the three institutions as FACES Doctoral Fellows. Senior doctoral students compete for grants to fund research programs and expenses for their first teaching jobs. May has recently been named Motorola Foundation Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, a five-year endowed professorship that provides support for leadership and resources in research and student development. His research focuses on computer-integrated


Professor Gary May, holding an 8-inch silicon wafer containing Intel pentium microprocessors, has a sure approach to success.

manufacturing of integrated circuits, specifically improving the way integrated circuits, or chips, are produced through modeling, monitoring and diagnosing problems in the control processes that go into creating integrated circuits. "Thousands of processes go into making chips. When you're in the lab making one, it's easier to make sure all those processes are followed uniformly, but when you make millions of them, all of those functions have to be able to be performed consistently," May says. "We have been able to introduce artificial intelligence into the manufacturing process using tools like neural networks to improve unit processes and make the number of working circuits increase."

May was a sophomore at Tech when he decided to pursue a graduate degree after hearing a speech by Howard Adams, former executive director of the GEM Program, a consortium of companies and universities that support graduate education for minorities in engineering and sciences. "He outlined the advantages of a graduate degree. He said people with graduate degrees had better opportunities for higher salaries, upward mobility, prestige and responsibility than those who had only earned bachelor's degrees," May recalls. "After that, I was interested in graduate school. Also, I realized all of the people in management and executive positions had advanced degrees."

May discovered an interest in engineering while a high school student in St. Louis. He participated in a program called Developing Engineering Students and worked summers at McDonnell-Douglas Corp. May chose Georgia Tech because it allowed him to continue working with the aeronautics manufacturer on a co-op basis and because he had a cousin in Atlanta and several older friends at Tech. After earning his degrees, May joined the Tech faculty as an assistant professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "My research interests are in microelectronics manufacturing. The Microelectronics Research Center and the Manufacturing Research

Center were in their early stages when I came, so it seemed like a good coincidence," May says. May says the things he has done at Tech that have been most meaningful to him are those that make a difference in students' lives. "I was really raised that way," says May, whose mother was a teacher and whose father was a postal clerk. "We were always involved in service activities that helped people. My parents always reinforced that you help other people, that it doesn't matter how much you do for yourself. If you can't bring others along and do the same for others, there isn't much success. "I'm still hard on my students," he says, "but with the goal of really challenging them." GT

Summer 2001 â&#x20AC;˘ G E O R G I A T E C H


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Summer 2001 • GEORGIA TECH


John Spm\dAtlanta Journal-Constitution

Going Up C

onstruction worker Jose Mendoza climbs around a maze of steel rods high upon the site of the new $58 million Ford Environmental Science and Technology Building at Georgia Tech. The 5-level, 285,000-square-foot complex, which had its ground-breaking March 1, will be completed in 2002. It will be the largest laboratory facility in the University System of Georgia. The facility is designed to encourage cooperative ventures between the educational and industrial communities in developing new technologies to address environmental issues. GT


G E O R G I A T E C H ' S u m m e r 2001

Tech Selma A. "Sally" Jabaley, CE 1974 • Native of LaGrange, Georgia; currently lives in Houston, Texas, where she is active in the Georgia Tech Club • Career primarily in the oil and gas industry with Chevron, ARCO, and Mobil; planning engineer for Rapid Transit rail system in Singapore; since 1994 project manager for oil and gas surface facilities with Schlumberger in Houston • Three children and two grandchildren; daughter Amber Sansom, ISyE 2000 Gifts to Georgia Tech: • Longtime member of Roll Call's Thousand Club • Named Georgia Tech Foundation, Inc. the beneficiary of her retirement plans to fund the Selma A. "Sally" Jabaley Endowment Fund, providing scholarships for out-of-state women studying engineering Notable Quotation: "As a Georgia resident, my Tech education cost me $5,000—the best investment I ever made! At Tech, I was forced to learn flexibility and organizational skills and to prioritize and work effectively under pressureall excellent training for today's work environment. I hope that my gift will help future generations of young women attend Tech so they can excel in fields of technology, further enhancing Georgia Tech's reputation. To keep my retirement plan from being heavily taxed upon my death, my accountant suggested that I assign it to Georgia Tech. I hope my deferred gift helps make Tech affordable for bright, out-of-state students."

Sally Jabaley, CE 1974, is one of Founders' Council's 702 members who have made bequests or life-income gifts in support of Georgia Tech's future?

For more information on creating a legacy at Georgia Tech through a bequest or life-income gift, please contact: Office of Development Planned Giving Atlanta, GA 30332-0220 or call 404.894.4678






Aerospace Engineering Architecture and Building Construction Art Asbestos Abatement Bioengineering Business and Management City Planning Civil Engineering Computing Database Management Defense Electronics Digital Signal Processing E-Business E-Commerce Economic Development Electrical Engineering Energy Engineering Review Environmental Management


Finance and Accounting



Geographic Information Systems Hazardous Materials Human Factors and Ergonomics

r 9 0 0 short courses, conferences and seminars annually.

Human Resource Development Industrial Design Industrial and Systems Engineering Infrared Technology Information Technology Management

On-site training developed e


our com

Internet IT Project Management Lead Abatement Linux Logistics Management

ilumni discount for many courses.

Logistics Professional Management Manufacturing Materials Science and Engineering Mechanical Engineering Multimedia Networking Occupational Safety and Health - OSHA Physics Power Engineering

eorgia Institute of Technology CONTINUING EDUCATION

YoCtr Global Learning Center ~1$ 404-385-3502

Project Management Public Policy Quality Radar Software Engineering Sustainable Facilities and Infrastructure Telecommunications Test and Evaluation Textiles and Fiber Engineering Transportation UNIX Web Design and Programming Wireless Antenna

Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine Vol. 78, No. 01 2001  
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